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"Soulful Stargazing" (2016) by Nadia Maria

For better or worse, few things have inspired us humans as much as the past light of faraway stars. Brazilian photo poet Nadia Maria embraces this innate longing for distant worlds with her ‘origins’ series, where she juxtaposes fragile, naked figures with those of more heavenly bodies. This piece, centered around the trajectory of a comet or shooting star, made me ponder all sort of interpretations. Is it about the creation of our universe, our world, our species or is it about our need to escape, our longing to create or find another world because this one perhaps often disappoints? Or when all is said and done, is it to question if we are not all just made up (to paraphrase Vladimir Nabokov) ‘of rust and stardust’?

What I always enjoyed about Maria’s enchanting visuals is how she often manages to marry both the natural and the humane and how she enriches her dreamy imagination with the help of digital tools, whilst also maintaining a strong tie to the basis of classic black and white photography and the work of people like Man Ray and Dora Maar. Magazines like Vogue and museums like the San Francisco MoMa have already discovered her imagery in the physical world, so in the digital realm of MoCDA I felt it was high time to put the spotlight on this wonderful artist as well.

"Soulful Stargazing" (2016) by Nadia Maria


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