“Quadrumiki – Fisherman of the Soul”
The Quadrumiki cycle is a typical example of Robert Marnika’s complex artistic quest. He is a photographer from Zadar (Croatia) who has lived in Bologna (Italy) for more than 20 years and recently he has moved to Melbourne. He has taught photography in Italy, Croatia and Spain and has won several important Italian and international photography prizes. An intense symbolic potential is the main feature of these images, combined with a special post-processing technique, which turns photos into therefore unique paintings. This is particularly true for the Quadrumiki series, apparent example of this experiment.
Quadrumiki is set in an imaginary universal anywhere, as universal is the condition of the portrayed fisherman, symbol of modern mankind. A man is searching for something, alone, and he walks. He is extremely small with respect to the dark yet dazzling context in which the photographer has set him. He might seem almost crushed by it, being so tiny and marginal, but the fisherman moves forward instead, sometimes resolute, sometimes hesitant, towards the unknown or, possibly, towards a brighter future.
The Quadrumiki man, first a detail and then the centre of the realm of fancy created by Robert Marnika through his perspective and alchemy, is subject and object in turn. Quadrumiki’s is a journey: he is anxious and restless when he leaves and, after the meditative moment triggered by the contact with the revealing water, on his way back he seems to be a different person, with a satisfied mind, maybe with a solution to his existential crisis and to the restlessness which pushed him to travel.
Quadrumiki is a wanderer, like Robert Marnika. An explorer and a traveller, both in life and in photography, this artist is looking for new effects and new abstract – and more effective in his opinion – visions of reality. A lover and an expert of black and white photography and its typical contrasts, Marnika in the Quadrumiki set debases its cliché with a range a varying golden, sepia and silver tones obtained through a lysergic mixture of special self-made substances, which require the protection of a gas mask during processing. The outcome is – not accidentally – watery, and this is very important in the Quadrumiki collection, whose ultimate goal seems to be a total reconciliation between mankind and Nature with its immensity and awe-inspiring beauty.
Sober and minimal, Quadrumiki’’s photography is ambiguous and contradictory. Redeeming or disquieting? Absolutely hazy and offered to us for decoding it.