Mariska Karto’s Portrait Photos Traces Influence From Classical Paintings

All images by Mariska Karto. Used with permission.

When we featured Mariska Karto in our 30 inspirational women photographers post, she was elated and wanted to update us on the type of work she’s currently doing. Mariska’s work (NSFW) is unlike anything I’ve really seen. It combines elements of paintings, drawings, and classical art and puts it all into a photograph in a way that I believe to be truly unique. As with all artists though, Mariska felt she needed to evolve. “I was just searching for another medium to make art, not in a traditional way but with more technical and digital equipment.”

Mariska believes you can’t really choose whether you like a genre or not–and this explains her attraction to classical painters. She believes it’s a passion that affects you in one way or another. Maybe that’s why her work is so much unlike anything else out there. “Everything you see or have felt has influence in your creations,” she says. “Another one didn’t have the same impressions you had as a child or have felt the grief in your life, like you have felt. There’s only one person and that is you. That fact makes your artistic work unique.”

She continues to state in her email:

“To be creative and artistic is hard work. It’s not always a romantic path, like lots of people think. Having inspiration is sometimes a real struggle. So, when I got inspired and the work becomes like I want, that’s a really great feeling. And If my work makes other people happy, yes then I feel quite proud. This all motivates.

I am also an artist with a mixed background from South-America, Asia and European origin. All of them very different cultures and a part of my life and…. I am not the only one.This is the world we live in now a days.This side of me, has reached the creative part of me. I have opened the doors to let it in.”

To create this series, Mariska used Nikon 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses. “About the editing process, I started as a complete autodidact,” says Mariska about the processing. “I had to invent my own creative solutions to move on, as I was used to as a sketcher and painter.”

Indeed, Mariska’s work is incredibly painterly but stitches together elements of classical paintings, fairy tales (sort of), and other almost dark arts. Her specific uses of colors are carefully planned as she tries to direct the viewer’s eyes where to look in the scene.

Be sure to check out Mariska’s work on Instagram too!