Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands
Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

Her eye has to travel
A fascinating photographer’s love for the islands.

The barren beauty of the land in all its raw honesty. This is the way Mara Desipris depicts her beloved Greek islands, through a lens that simply cannot lie and does not intend to prettify what it sees. And why would it, when what it sees is already glorious and charged? “I am moved by any emotion that can be awakened at the moment. I actually hunt for sentiment through my work. The euphoria that comes from getting in touch with a feeling is irreplaceable”, she says. Fashion’s favorite photographer works as a director would, always looking for the light.

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands
Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands
Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands
Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

That is what determines her subject, her angle, her mood. She admits that for her, nothing can beat the winter light, as “it is clear, sharp, with no humidity or heat making it hazy and damp…there are some days in winter where the light is so crystal, so intense, it makes everything sharp and beautifully austere”. Her love for the islands is probably engraved in her D.N.A and her Cycladic heritage. She spends around three months a year in Tinos, her homeland, and this past summer she even created a small film entitled Insane, celebrating the Tinian sculptor Yannoulis Chalepas and the 80 years since his passing.

Film is actually a huge source of inspiration for her, as she is a proclaimed visual person. Working on her Chalepas project had also an emotional aspect to it, as she considers him one of her biggest influences: “I love the drama coloring his life, the fact that he lived in Tinos…but there is a big kaleidoscope of people that have influenced me from time to time…I used to love the full-on provocation of Helmut Newton but I also went through a phase with the Dutch painters and McCarthy…these days I am really into Martha Graham_again.

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands
Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

Some people’s influence comes and goes, making them eternal.” These past few years have been her “island period”, if one can name it, in a way. Her intimate relationship to the land, her view that has abandoned the allure of the close-up for the Doric dynamics of nature have brought her to depict, again and again, the Cycladic islands, her “little diverse universes that, besides their closeness, have extremely big differences in regards to their landscape, the soul of the people, the architecture. For me, it’s pure magic discovering the differences that co-exist in such a small part of the universe”.

 

Her closeness to nature has made it harder to compromise in her work, as she finds it extremely difficult to photograph a face when there is no chemistry involved. I need them to trust me, let me place them in a story I have created in my head, or at least give me the truth they have chosen to show me. I need the person in front of me to let me in”.

 

This is probably why her favorite image, these days, is a portrait for herself by her dear friend Filep Motwary: “It is totally representative of how I feel when I am in Tinos. 
Whenever I am in Athens, overwhelmed by the hectic lifestyle, I simply look at this image and see my self again as a nomad wandering the dry land of Tinos”.

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

Some people’s influence comes and goes, making them eternal.” These past few years have been her “island period”, if one can name it, in a way. Her intimate relationship to the land, her view that has abandoned the allure of the close-up for the Doric dynamics of nature have brought her to depict, again and again, the Cycladic islands, her “little diverse universes that, besides their closeness, have extremely big differences in regards to their landscape, the soul of the people, the architecture. For me, it’s pure magic discovering the differences that co-exist in such a small part of the universe”.

Her closeness to nature has made it harder to compromise in her work, as she finds it extremely difficult to photograph a face when there is no chemistry involved. I need them to trust me, let me place them in a story I have created in my head, or at least give me the truth they have chosen to show me. I need the person in front of me to let me in”.

This is probably why her favorite image, these days, is a portrait for herself by her dear friend Filep Motwary: “It is totally representative of how I feel when I am in Tinos. Whenever I am in Athens, overwhelmed by the hectic lifestyle, I simply look at this image and see my self again as a nomad wandering the dry land of Tinos”.

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

Some people’s influence comes and goes, making them eternal.” These past few years have been her “island period”, if one can name it, in a way. Her intimate relationship to the land, her view that has abandoned the allure of the close-up for the Doric dynamics of nature have brought her to depict, again and again, the Cycladic islands, her “little diverse universes that, besides their closeness, have extremely big differences in regards to their landscape, the soul of the people, the architecture. For me, it’s pure magic discovering the differences that co-exist in such a small part of the universe”.Her closeness to nature has made it harder to compromise in her work, as she finds it extremely difficult to photograph a face when there is no chemistry involved. I need them to trust me, let me place them in a story I have created in my head, or at least give me the truth they have chosen to show me. I need the person in front of me to let me in”.This is probably why her favorite image, these days, is a portrait for herself by her dear friend Filep Motwary: “It is totally representative of how I feel when I am in Tinos. Whenever I am in Athens, overwhelmed by the hectic lifestyle, I simply look at this image and see my self again as a nomad wandering the dry land of Tinos”.

Mara Desipris pays tribute to the ultimate Greek beauty of her favorite islands

All images © Mara Desipris