The Painter

published Nov. 11, 2018

by Victoria Lopez

The connection between body and mind lends itself to the realization of freedom. Free from the constraints and rules of the world, a balanced sense of self allows for a natural flow of creativity. A tranquil presence, videographer Mariko embodies a true yogi. Conjuring the spiritual element of impermanence, apparent in the image of a mandala being blown away, Mariko plays with the idea of an art piece not being an object; images in the video are momentary flashes, quickly replaced by other images. Objectification, a notion inherent in Western ideology, guides a certain way of thought. Inspired by the Greek myth of Pygmalion (a sculptor who becomes obsessed with the image of his sculpted perfect woman), Mariko thinks about the role of an artist in terms of control, translated into her thinking about “sexuality as a mode of creation or procreation” in the “sensibilities of tantric Buddhism and Hinduism.” She questions the idea of art being the “property of the artist,” parallel to the idea of a woman being the property, or creation of man.

Based on such a line of thought, Mariko is working on her latest project, using green screen technology to sculpt her own image, combining the artist and product as one. Mariko goes on to describe the fluidity in her process. Giving up control, she allows her work to develop naturally. Focusing more on the individual experiences of the “moving paintings,” she lets her videos be dictated by technology. In her color palette, an element she gives herself no credit for, Mariko runs her photos through certain algorithms allowing the colors to edit themselves and run their course without doing much intervening, giving each “piece a little more of its own integrity”, reflecting a sort of cosmological approach. True to form she leaves us with, “Remember that the only thing that you possibly have control over is yourself, no matter what crazy shit happens to you, you get to control how you react to that, what you do with it.”

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