Mirka Farabegoli – “The human keeps looking for myth and magic – now maybe more than ever.”
Mirka Farabegoli is a visual artist. That’s what she calls herself since she graduated from the ArtEZ Academy in Arnhem, at the department of Fine Arts, in 2009. Her focus is mainly on drawings. Pencil and pastel crayons on paper. But Mirka uses a small set of other techniques, too, like etchings and silkscreen presses. And besides that, she started applying herself more to photography since 2016/2017, and took a step out of her comfort zone with the fabrication of several masks made out of woven fabric which are build from the same triangular shape that she uses as a formal element in a lot of her other works, too.
Mirka’s style is easily recognizable. Soft pastel-colors applied with crayons dye her mystical figures, often pictured on a monochrome* background. And even though the differences in her artworks from the different phases of her career are clearly visible, there is definitively a theme going on. ‘The in-between-world’, Mirka calls it. This world is, easily said, a world that is close to the human world, but one that contains unearthly elements. For example: the dream world. Here, Mirka’s subjects (the people/animals/mythical figures she pictures) are transformed in a way that they are still recognizable as human figures, but simultaneously would never be able to exist in this world.
“I think and feel that we are searching for a way to imbue magic into our lives, to look for elements that are inexplicable.”
During my travels through Bolivia, I have come across a culture where people draw inspiration from unreal worlds and celebrate those; a culture that has one foot in age-old folk traditions and the other in the culture and religion of the Spanish conquistadores, who brought these with them during their imperialistic strike of the South-American lands, several hundreds of years ago. The conquistadores forced the autochthonous population to work the mines. The devils and demons of the Bolivian culture that were long lingering in these mines, were made into allies in order to fight the Spanish. This alliance still stands nowadays and recurs during the Bolivian carnaval, where the bitter story of slavery is retold in a mocking manner. During carnaval, it is the Bolivian of the mountains and the mines that triumphs over the idiotic conquistadores. I found this Bolivian devil very intriguing and used it as an image in my painting La Fusion (2010).
It are these figures, like the Bolivian devil, that embody a sense of magic in the real world; mythical creatures upon which we can mirror the inexplicable things of everyday life. In this way, incomprehensibility (and the dread that adjoins it) takes on a concrete shape – the nothing turns into something and the something can be battled. This process (of concretization) paves the way to inner peace. “After my work trip in Germany, where I painted Tripkau (2012), I continued making connections between the exotic creatures from far-away lands and the magic and mythology of local stories, here in Europe. I found it interesting how, just as the Bolivians proved, ancient stories can be imbued with meaning again when you transport them to the here and now. In these tension fields, where opposites meet (old and new, but also: love and hate, life and death, reality and dreams) and join, new things can be learned. As long as you’re open to wonder.