Drawing upon the rich tradition of European painting, visual artist Sári Ember reexamines the symbols of femininity in exquisitely composed portraits and still lifes.
The fluid relationship between symbols and their meanings sets the stage for Sári Ember’s Mormaço. In this series, the artist brings together three elements, young women, fruits and flowers, and the city of São Paulo, to reenact the ideas of fertility and conception in present-day. Deliberately playing with the hidden symbolism and erotic connotations of her imagery, Sári presents a refreshing reinterpretation of womanhood defined in reference to itself and to women as a group.
In her perfectly balanced compositions, the sacred and the mundane traits of her subjects are depicted in equal measure, allowing the viewer to read the photographs both literally and figuratively. Clear in her portraits and still lifes, this dualism is also present in her pictures of semi-public gardens, buried in the middle of a chaotic metropolis. Inspiring examples of straight photography, these images also allude to something else. Something that, as most of the green areas in São Paulo, remains hidden.
“In Mormaço series I am dealing with different symbols and representations of the duality of the profane and the spiritual. I am portraying young women with fruits, as to me São Paulo is a symbol of fertility and conception – both in its physical and sacred sense. My “studios” are corners and walls of common streets, as I feel that these spaces of the urban landscape and the mostly blue forms and backgrounds bring an ambiguous sense of tranquility and at the same time are excessively exposed to the city. In the act of painting the walls of houses blue behind the little semi-public gardens, I see a desire to make the gardens float. By creating a symbol of the sky they become a sort of paradise.The still life experiments are maquettes of the paradise, and trials of the portrayal of the physical and the metaphysical.” – Sári Ember
The pictures that follow are an invitation to delve into the many layers of Mormaço by Sári Ember.
Sári Ember was born in São Paulo in 1985. She graduated in Visual Communication and Photography at MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design) in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2006, her work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Europe and South America. Sári is a member of the Studio of Young Photographers (FFS) and the Studio of Young Artists’ Association (FKSE) in Hungary. She currently lives and works between Budapest and São Paulo.
All Rights Reserved. Images © Sári Ember