Studio Visit: Marie Tomanova

Marie Tomanova is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's June 2015 exhibition as well as marietomanova.com. 

How does contemporary culture play in to your narrative?
I am so happy that here in US is such a strong support and recognition for women artists. It is the best part about contemporary culture, the growing equality! I always feel so bitter when I recall my graduate years at University in Czech and how women artists were undervalued and treated just for the simple fact of being women. It makes me so mad! I am proud to be a woman, I photograph women and I am happy to see more and more organizations and galleries who do support women! I feel lucky that I can be part of this and see it happening!
 
Could you describe the importance of the "self-portrait" in your work?
Photography works as a communication tool for me. I love to speak thru images. On the beginning it was very spontaneous and purely about acknowledging my own existence to myself and also to my surroundings. I moved to a country where I had no friends and no family and felt like I had to hold tight onto my identity to not lose who I was. I was so afraid that America will change me that I started to capture myself in images in hope to preserve it. It was, and still is, a beautiful journey of exploring and understanding my own identity and sexuality. Photography is a mirror. And it allows you to see who you are or who you are not. 

What is a typical day like for you, in regards to your studio practice? 
I wake up early and drink lots of coffee. 
I have been busy with preparing for shows the past couple of days. It was a challenge to find the right printer, to figure out the most affordable framing, packing and shipping. So I’ve been doing lots of research. And I spent all day by making my own custom size boxes for the photographs, yesterday. They turned out perfect. It made me happy!