WITH A simple camera and light, graffiti artist and painter Marco transforms images, monuments, streets, people, objects into works of art. France-based Marko, here in Chandigarh, describes his art as a “geometric representation of his soul”.
The self-taught artist began expressing himself in the early 1980s with graffiti on the walls of Saint Denis, the city he grew up in, creating scenes from daily life, caricatures, motifs, using abstract calligraphy, including alphabets from Arabic, to expand his work to open spaces.
“The work was spontaneous and I experimented with paints, sprays and techniques of art and my travels across the world made me explore new horizons, people, places, and then moving on to painting the body,’’ says Marko, talking about his work on club dancers from Rio to Hong Kong.
It was in the year 2000 that he discovered ‘painting’ with light, using photographic support to capture the movement of light, a process tried by artists Man Ray and Picasso in their work. “I remember how a moving car left remnants of light and fascinated me. I talked to my photographer friends, who explained me the techniques of long-time exposure to help me work with colours and light to express movements,’’ smiles Marko, who is painting live at the Alliance Francaise, as well as holding a workshop for those interested in the art form.
The idea, explains Marko, is to use different shapes and colours of light instead of brushes to ‘paint’ near monuments, streets and also create portraits like one he has done of Frida Kahlo. “We video the technique and project it on walls to create a dramatic effect. I have done work with Bharatnatyam dancers, creating their portraits with this technique, as well as captured the fighting spirit of the Japanese by capturing their movements with light,’’ says Marko.
Marko does artistic residencies, collaborative work with painters, workshops, wall interventions across the world, “one work that is really close to my heart is a Boeing we painted in Africa, using calligraphy’’.
Visiting India for many years now, Marko says he finds new ideas and inspirations meeting new people, and feeling the place. “Markets is what I visit first and most important is composition and balance to create magic with light. And you don’t need to be adept at drawing and painting to play with light.’’
Marko’s workshop and demonstration is on at Alliance Francaise, Sector 36, Chandigarh, on October 26.