All dressed up FBI special agent Dale Cooper that walks in the Grand Budapest Hotel’s pastel hall, welcomed by the metallic sound of Kraftwerk’s Les Mannequins.

This is just a superficial look at what you can find in Mária Švarbová’s photography, that is worth examining more closely. Born in 1988 in Bratislava, with a degree in conservation, restoration and archeology, she has dedicated to photography since 2010, developing a unique and really personal style that made her win prestigious awards and start valuable collaborations, such as signing off a contract with Vogue America. Her particular vision of things made her photos appear on covers of multiple bestselling books and photography magazine, like DODHO and FotoVideo, and, to crown it all, she also won a gold medal of excellence in the biggest photography saloon (TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT) that took place in Austria.

We can definitely say that Slovakia is the brand new discovered homeland of talents: no need to mention Mária’s fellow countryman Michal Pudelka, the young prodigy in photography that made his way through Vogue pages, shooting awesome editorials for the fashion magazine par excellence, showing a style focused on the attention for composition and formal rigor that plumbed the depths of the nature of fashion photography. Would this new found kind of style the next trend of fashion works or is just a innate predisposition due to the typical cold weather of Central European countries? We can’t tell for sure.

But Mária Švarbová’s definitely knows how to catch you attention: her style is clean, cold, strict, rigorous; her pictures are studied compositions, dense and fulfilled with minimalism extremely measured by the millimeter. It’s surrealism, but without overstepping the boundaries of a settled reality that everyone could be comfortable with. It’s suspension: in the air, a moment, you miss a breath. And you flounder, treading water. Here you are, destabilized. Maria’s astonishing pictures catch a chip in the overwhelming flux of a universe that could be the dreamy counterpart of our vivid earth world, and it is the fearfully oddest of any other she could have take. Swimming, going to the butcher’s or the to the dentist’s, love on the sidewalk or work out at the gym become contextualized practices stopped in action; common things presented in a really uncommon way. Colors are mellow, but put on purpose on the windowsill on a wintery Tuesday morning. Pastel tones are blurred, dimmed, like a blind fog that slows down mind thoughts and inebriate your perceptions of things. Losing your mind in this air bubble is strange, insidious but captivating. You’re scared, but you can’t move.

Mária knows definitely how to pierce the lungs of her audience and her personal way to see what surround us made her possible to plan even more exciting things for the future: the photographer will be having an exhibition in Paris at the Sakura Gallery, which will represent herself throughout France; her work will also be shown in others 80 galleries all around the world. Follow her in this adventure, and don’t forget to take you inhaler with you.

Marina Lepori

Discover more on Mária Švarbová here: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PHOTO VOGUE

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