Briefly describe the work you do.
I work primarily with painting and drawing, and I sometimes combine it with fabrics and thread in artworks more focused on the experience of material. My work analyses a psychological representation of the human body. This is done through the transformation and deformation of the human figure, its shapes and proportions. The image then becomes something expressive, out of the traditional understanding of the body. About the subjects, I work with psychoanalytic theory and feminism, as well as with philosophical issues, as for example the relationship between the human and its Other, or the natural encounter between animal and human.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I’ve been always in touch with arts since I was a child because my father is a landscape artist. We used to go to really beautiful places in the Mediterranean Sea and he always had a piece of paper and watercolours ready for me. From my mother I got the ability to explain myself, since she is a journalist. From my sister, my love for cinema. All these elements combined made the best background for me to develop my artwork.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
Well, I guess my studio practice is quite traditional. When I’m there I prepare my paintings, I build my own canvases, I do color scales, sketches of ideas I have, I make notes, etc, and then when I’m ready to paint the big pictures I just start, normally I do three or four at the same time in order to change what I see and refresh my view of it. Normally I’m a quite fast painter so when I’ve been in the studio for a few hours and my eyes are tired I simply have to stop and continue the next day. At the end my activity in the studio is pretty dynamic.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Because of my obsession with deformation of human figure, very often people understand my artwork as something disturbing, although I have no intention to make it weird and I never had that intention. I think people understand deformation of the body as something aggressive towards their own bodies, which simply shows how powerful art can be. So I could say disturbance is now a part of my work that I didn’t even know it existed in me.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
Normally I go to the studio from around 11 h to 18 h, but it really depends on the day, and the specific task. For example if I have to draw often I do it at home and my favourite time to draw is on the evening, from 20 h to 22 h. I’m not very strict with time.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
I’m still very young and five years for me means my whole career, so everything has been changing constantly. But the biggest change occurred when I moved away. I’m from Madrid but I came to Berlin to live three years ago, and that came with an unexpected but great push on my development as an artist on every aspect: the election of subjects, defining the aesthetics I want to pursue, etc. In general terms, in the last couple of years I’ve defined an artistic range in which I want to move. As well as being able to see contemporary art almost every day, around the streets, in galleries or museums, that doesn’t happen in Madrid, and I found it very useful for my personal changes.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
My biggest influence in an everyday basis is my boyfriend, who is an artist too, he is the one who knows my work the best, and I feel a direct artistic connection with him and total fluidity on our art conversations. My best teacher was also a great influence for me. In a cultural level I have many artists who had an impact on me, such as Bacon, Baselitz, Cecily Brown, Louise Bourgeois, etc, as well as philosophers like Freud, Judith Butler, Zizek, etc. I have a preference for psychoanalytic theory, in special the work of Lacan, I find extremely pleasurable to analyse his work and I find a lot of inspiration from it that I can apply to myself and to my artwork.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
Not really, I’ve been always interested in philosophy and at some point I thought about dedicate myself to music, because I used to play drums when I was a teen. But for real I always wanted to become an artist, the pleasure I feel by mixing oil colours for example is something I couldn’t find in any other field of study.
Marina Roca Die, (Madrid, 1988) is an artist who works with painting and drawing, often combining this with fabrics and strings. She studied the Sculpture Degree in La Palma School of Art in Madrid, as well as Painting at Estudio Arjona, where she won a merit scholarship. After a lot of time spent on learning how the body behaves, how to draw the body in Life Drawing sessions in Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, she started her research on the human body in its psychological dimensions, how the body can be then transformed, reshaped and pulled out of its limits, related with other bodies and other beings, in search of the complete expressive image. The body is often related with philosophical ideas of human condition: the idea of the Other or the limits of humanness as a natural being, as well as with psychoanalytic and feminist theory within sexuality. Marina lives and works in Berlin.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.