Anne R. Kelly, Gallery Director at Photo-eye in Los Angeles writes about Marina’s project “When the Room Becomes Water”: “in this series, Black’s distressed black and white portraits are a personal psychological investigation catalyzed by the effects of intense and intimate loss. While literally stitching herself together, Black explores aspects self-awareness, revelation, and catharsis in her images.”
Larry Lytle, a contributing writer to the B & W Magazine: “It’s a dicey gambit to link a poem, written by the artist, as an explanation for a painting, drawing or photograph. It takes talent and a keen ability to conflate visual with literary metaphor, with neither element swamping the other. Black is at home in both worlds…”
Mike Hoolboom, Canadian artist & critic: “Marina’s darkness (her black) preserves something of the mystery of her subjects, they are not opened to us the way a surgeon would view the body, but instead offer an invitation (and challenge) to the viewer to embrace what cannot be shown.”
Art Babayants, Artistic Director, Producer, Toronto Laboratory Theatre on a lighting/photography/performance ‘VV-section’ for Toronto’s contemporary art festival Nuit Blanche in 2015: “It was hard for me to believe that Marina was new to the world of the performing arts. She approached the project with the same level of precision and aesthetic awareness she usually approaches the genre more familiar to her. From our initial steps of exploring a possible lineage of similar practices to the actual implementation of the work, Marina showed unparalleled commitment to the work.”
Themes central to Marina Black’ work, whether in photography, drawing or writing, are mortality & anguish, beauty & abjectness of the human body, identity & memory. Most of her work may be categorized as ‘portraits’ but rather than representing an actual person, they represent a state of mind. She is interested in the emotional truth in people’s lives: what their existence like underneath the surface? After many years of making photographs, she has increasingly become interested in the way a person’s body becomes the layered cartography of the unspoken, and intrigued by the tension between he frozen and fluid gestures, which articulate our deepest contradictions.
Black’s photography is about experimentation and the physical process of reworking the surface. She works in analogue, digital and camera-less technologies and likes the tactile qualities of prints, and dealing with fragments, that often take her to a new place.
Marina Black originally studied History & Painting, then art has become her primary preoccupation. Black received W. Lawrence Heisey Graduate Award for outstanding achievement in creative & scholarly work, as well as a number of Ontario Arts Council grants. She was a featured exhibitor of the FOTOFEST International photography festival in Houston, US, and the CONTACT International Photography Festival in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been published in Eyemazing Susan Vol.II, curated by Susan Zadeh; FOSSILS OF LIGHT + TIME, curated by Elizabeth Avedon, an editor of L’Oeil de la Photographie; and BURN, 1st edition, curated by a Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey. Black’s work has been shown in solo & group exhibitions worldwide and reviewed in numerous fine art publications. She maintains an active art practice both independently and collaboratively working with artists from different mediums. Her photographs are included in the public collection of Heritage Municipal Museum of Malaga, Spain; in Alliance Francaise in Canada; in IZOLYATSIA non-governmental arts foundation, Ukraine.