Marija Koneska is a Macedonian artist, graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, in the department of graphic art. In 2016 she graduated from the second cycle of studies at the same faculty, in the department of painting.
She has realized several solo exhibitions “Emptied Nest” (Macedonia, 2018) "I am fine!" (Macedonia, 2016), To persist! (Germany, 2015) and actively participates in group exhibitions and festivals in the country and abroad. Her works were exhibited on "Paratissima" (Skopje, 2016), "Das ist Walter" (Germany, 2013), "Fist International Print Biennial" (Serbia, 2011), etc.
Koneska is recognizable by the figurative visual language. She creates works inspired by the questions and topics that occupy the mind not just her mind and the people around her, but the society and the time she lives in.
Dive into My Portfolio
I Am Fine!
The face is a natural mechanism that speaks for our emotional life and all for us. Under the skin there are 46 muscles whose movements or positions enable us to express more than 10,000 expressions… Anger, fear, disgust, surprise, joy and sorrow are the six basic human emotions and mostly they are easily recognizable, but how does our face look like when we laugh when something is not funny, when we pretend to be happy, or hide our true thoughts, say things they don’t think?
Avoiding to tell the truth, by definition, is a lie! So, the real question is how does our face look like when we lie?
The average person tells 4 lies a day or 1 460 a year; a total of 87 600 by the age of 60. And the most common lie is : I AM FINE!!!
The project was created in 2016-2018, the years when Macedonia was faced with serious social and political turbulence, but which on the other has eased my methodological approach. In the re-education of the issue, besides myself and the people I know better, I also included random people.
I've photographed, sometimes I’ve drew, but not in order to make a portrait of a confidant personality at a fixed moment. My ultimate goal was to make a picture for all of us.
The works are painted with textile color on canvas, A4 format, placed in space without any restrictions and without frames that allows the expression to be dominant.
We live in an endless space and time, put by chance in a surrounding and a present governed by certain rules, not just social and political, but also rules we make, that very often result in limitations to our actions and our thought. Surrounded by so many barriers, each and every one of us is trying to find our own path,which brings about struggles with reality, but also that most difficult struggle of them all, with ourselves.
The characters presented in each of the graphics are the faces every one of us carries. The works are prints of carefully drawn faces with a rare application of few free-form brush strokes. Metal zippers are an intervention that introduces the stylized look of the works and entails limitation in the choice of base. In order to follow the continuity and logic in the workmanship, industrial materials with fabric-like texture were used.
Due to specific political and economic circumstances in Macedonia, people are more likely to migrate. So, influenced by this issue, I did this project that channels how, with the departure of people, the city changes its appearance. At the center of my attention I am putting the city of Prilep, my home town, where the tendency to migrate is especially pronounced. 16 years ago Prilep was a city of 69 704 inhabitants, and today, according to the number of health booklets (official census data do not exist), the number of inhabitants is almost halved. The city does not only remains without people, but also without life, and that is the reason that has prompted me to engage in this topic.
My goal is not just to show the desolate houses and streets, but to show what we are really losing. How the city dies. For the visual solution, I did portraits of people leaving their homes. Through conversation and keeping in contact with my fellow townspeople I am taking the data on the authenticity of the appearance of both people and homes.
The final result of this project is a photo installation. It was necessary to print on a plastic base, because the silhouettes were laser cut and presented as three - dimensional pieces. Everything is printed in colour, only silhouettes are black and white. The size of the base of each piece is 29,7 x 42 cm. and the cut silhouettes are with different sizes.
Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)