Photography by Maria Savidis


Autobiographical and Personal Statement written in 1980


Autobiographical and Personal Statement 1980

It is difficult to say how long I’ve been involved with photography – and precisely, what inspired me.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a camera in my hands – from my first Brownie (which I received on my seventh birthday), until now.  I can remember taking unconventional photographs, intrigued by certain angles and perspectives, at as early an age as eight or nine years.  At the age of eight, I created what I considered my first significant photograph – it inspired me to become involved with photography as a photo-hobbyist.

As a teenager, I continued to be a photo-enthusiast , but I spent more time with drawing, painting, sculpture, handcrafts, and academics.  During my junior year in high school, my interest in photography was rekindled.  I exhibited, (along with contour drawings of people), four photographs created using an instamatic camera and filers made from Mylar and magic marker.  These photos stemmed from an experiment dealing with the effects of light upon the plastic lens characteristic of the camera and semi-translucent objects placed in front of the lens.

My resurgence into photography began at an experimental level.  I was interested in manipulations and special effects when I purchased my first 35mm camera in 1973.  I selected the Minolta SRT102 because along with having a rugged body, and excellent optics, it offered me the ability to create multiple exposures.  I worked primarily in color from 1973-1975.  In 1975, I studied photography at Kean College with Dr. Tatton, and began developing black and white prints.  The photograph “Yiayia” of my paternal grandmother, was exhibited at “City Without Walls Gallery” in Newark, and at over 30 other art exhibitions.

In 1976, my daughter Xanthie was born.  Through my relationship with her, my love for children was magnified. I grew to understand their various moods, needs, and feelings.  My work reflected this growth.

My work does not have a central theme.  It is eclectic.  I do not feel that it is important, nor do I feel that it is beneficial to the artist, and subsequently to the public, for the artist to work on only one theme for the duration of his or her life.  Once one has become a master in one area, where does one go from there if they are completely unfamiliar with other aspects of their craft?  I believe that it is important to develop a more rounded approach, to have several interests rather than one.

When working as a photographic artist (or as a painter or sculptor) it is crucial that a strong commitment, be felt.  In order for ART to be effective, an intense emotional reaction must occur (love, hate, disgust, anguish, worry, fear, happiness, etc…).  The ART of photography is deeper than just technique.  Good technical control of the medium is necessary to make a statement understandable.

My photographs have continued to evolve.  Color abstractions were prevalent from 1973-1976, (and sporadically reappear in current work).  Pictorial travel shots, black & white nature pictures which emphasize the mysterious quality of mushrooms, mosses and other fungal growths, photographs of the elderly, of children, and recently a juxtaposition of nature and people, whereby, the child of New Jersey’s interaction with his environment is depicted, are included.  Currently I am working on the documentation of costume in color.

              From 1978-1980, I studied photography with Dr. Donald Lokuta.  Dr. Lokuta taught me how to refine my printing technique to produce archival prints, to print in color, the zone system, and lighting techniques. He also helped me to grow as an artist.

My photographs of children show many aspects of the child.  They frequently create an aura of nostalgia with their turn-of the century sensitivity.  Some show the mischievous character of children, some show the pensive, or anxious qualities, while others show the happy and fun loving qualities possessed by children.


Copyright © 1980 Maria I. Savidis

About the Artist   Art Exhibitions   Autobiographical Statement 1980

© 2004-2024 Maria I. Savidis-Markatos


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