Miriam Chovancová

I am a visual artist born in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1990. Living and practicing in Brighton, the UK since 2009. Obtained a Masters in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 2015.

My research and practice focus on the history of Slovak culture, its mythology, and collective identity in the context of artistic expression. I understand and use research and practice as interdisciplinary methods of informing each other.

My practice originates in abstract painting but recently, I have been focusing on digital photomontages.

Growing up in post-socialist Slovakia in the 90s and being exposed to western toys and MTV has been affected by visual vocabulary and colour sensitivity. I compose my pieces as visual colour-poems. Through engaging with lyrics and writing poetry myself as a part of my creative process, I use titles to link my visual language I use the emotional world of pop songs. Using auto-ethnography as my main methodology, I collect poetry, music, and colour and use them as a symbol and gesture in my work. Through practice, I reflect on the elements that have shaped my identity and thus attempt to understand myself and others. I explore the relationship between nationality and identity and ask questions about cultural identity and one's place in society. My research focuses on the history of Slovak culture,

About the new series:

My Latest Work is More Abstract. I focused my ongoing research on death and Slovak rituals connected to it. Dealing with these themes as an artist, I felt closer to my roots in abstract painting and utilized illustrative elements and visual metaphors of digital photo collages in a more lyrical way. Even though the subject of these pieces feels heavier, and the work deals with bigger themes, the overall aesthetic is lighter and smaller, more intimate, in comparison to my previous work. It focuses on the composition, gesture, and colour and their emotional impact rather than creating a tangible narrative. These works come from an authentic place of understanding the importance of rituals in connection to identity and feeling of belonging. They celebrate the fragility and resilience of humankind.

About the older work:

The first photo collage series, “Postcards from Betweenity”, exaggerate otherness and explores the concept of tourist gaze and fetishization of “exotic” Slovak culture. Using monumentalism, 'typical' Slovak imagery of landscape, folk dress, and brutalist architecture, I explored the cliché visual depictions of “Slovakness” and reflected on my own relationship with my heritage and cultural identity. Ľudovít Fulla's illustrations of Slovak folk fairytales, I created environments that feel more like dreams and memories than real places, celebrating the naivety and hopefulness of childhood. The dated imagery used also suggests the feeling of nostalgia. Utilizing low quality, early 90s computer art aesthetic, I created my own mythology and visual metaphors.

If you would like to get to know Mima more and discuss her work, send us a quick email at viktoria@victoryart.eu and we will schedule a video call for you!


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