Maria Svarbova

Born in 1988, Slovakian photographer Maria Svarbova originally studied conservation-restoration and archeology before dedicating herself to photography in 2010.

Portrait, 2018
© Igor Stancik

What do you try to achieve through your photographic work?
Harmony and Balance. 

How would you describe your photographic style?
I have focused on photographing people since the start of my photographic career. People are the main source of inspiration for me; they truly fascinate me. Space has no meaning without humans; it becomes empty because something is missing. The same goes for the other way around – humans have no meaning without a space to be in.

People are the main inspiration for me; they truly fascinate me.

What inspires you/your work?
Regarding my largest series, Swimming Pool, the first spark of inspiration for that came from the rather stark architecture at my local swimming pool. The building is 80 years old and dates back to a time when swimming was more of a social duty than a sport, which is maybe why it’s such a sterile place with all white tiles and ‘No Diving’ signs everywhere. But I was struck by the calmness of the water and its mirror-like reflections. That and the signs – there were so many! For a space designed for exercise, they certainly like to tell you what you can and can’t do. It fascinates me.

Where did you get the idea for your Masters series?
I discovered a beauty within architecture. I love symmetry and geometry so much. Symmetry creates my compositions which are one of the main elements that distinguishes my artwork. I try to harmonize people and places with each other. These two elements are one.

What do you want viewers to take away from your project?
The atmosphere that’s depicted through a palette of pastel colors and overexposed tones transports the viewer into a sterilized world in which the characters have chosen to give up any kind of emotional extravagance that might unmask them. My photos are minimalistic but also futuristic.

How was your experience using a Hasselblad medium format camera for carrying out your project?
I have to say, I love the Hasselblad H6D-100c camera so much. Right now, it’s the best camera to create my pictures. I’m not a technical photographer, but I know what’s great for my photos. There are so many details that are revealed by the camera in the pictures. The dynamic range is amazing.