Sanja Marušić (1991) is a Dutch-Croatian artist based in Amsterdam. She studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK), and in 2013 she graduated with an Honorable Mention.
Marušić travels the world to create otherworldly images. Her practice emanates from photography and diverts to painting and collage techniques, resulting in mixed media art. Through photography she captures miniature performances in which a human figure (usually Marušić herself in self-made costumes), sometimes accompanied by another, uncannily moving through a surreal landscape. The stories she creates often find their genesis in her personal life. She manipulates her images so the landscape and the moment itself becomes more abstract, creating a surreal new world, using it as a kind of escapism for herself and the viewer.
With each new series, I try to visualize a new phase in my life. These photographs are the product of different media, including analogue and digital photography, film, collage, and painting. I want to create a moment in time that’s only briefly there, because I was there.
My photographs are like a physical meditation, and the process of taking the picture is intuitively driven. I often let the landscape, sunlight, shadows, the clothes I’m wearing, or my feelings at that particular moment inspire me. In a way, I try to become one with the scene.
Color is very important to me. I look at my pictures as if they are black and white, so I can use my imagination while creating. This way, I control all the colors, and pick them myself. I do this using the computer or manually painting over the picture. Choosing colors for the objects, my own skin, and the surrounding landscape around me gives me a feeling of control. I’m very interested in body language, movement and posture, but not so much in facial expressions, which is why you hardly see any faces in my work.
By moving and presenting my body, I try to create a world separated from reality. That’s why I often create my own costumes, so what I'm wearing doesn't reference a specific temporal moment. Escapism always plays a part in my work, for myself and for the viewer.