Mira Nedyalkova is a Bulgarian artist working mainly with photography and herself or her friend as a model. Her haunting wet images and erotic yet ethereally beautiful poses can’t miss. Having started off as a painter she creates classical masterpieces and visual poems.
KALTBLUT: You are a photographer and a model. so do you usually shoot self portraits? or what are you looking for in a model?
Mira: Yes, I was a model for a long time. However, as a model I was never satisfied from the end result. It was somehow like something was missing, my soul was missing. I could not express myself in those images, but I think I felt that photography as art can have a very powerful voice for me. Later in my life I stopped modelling and became a model for myself. Yes, in my work I am the photographer, the model, the stylist, the makeup artist. I am also the post production director. This whole process definitely charges me and satisfies me. In fact half of my work is self portraiture and for the other half my friend is my model. She perfectly manages to recreate my ideas and images and our work together is very successful and enjoyable. In my work the model (character) is not only beautiful, she must bring not only joy but also sadness, she exudes eroticism and coldness, she is filled with joy .. but the pain is forever with her. My model is my main element, but in fact it is almost as if it is not there at all, all there is is my soul and my world. My images do not present the model- her nice shapes or beautiful eyes. The eyes are closed in almost every image, my character is disembodied, her nakedness is left unseen, forgotten… eroticism is what fascinates the viewer, but not to excite his senses, but to enter his soul, the essence … we sink deep into heart and mind … to help us know, to see our fears and hidden desires and to accept them, to accept them in order to enjoy them.
KALTBLUT: You started off as a painter and it shows. Which painters or movements have influenced your work?
Mira: Yes, I used to draw when I was younger. Then I was affected mostly by Cezanne, as a painting technique. In the later stage, when my life began moving to photography I was greatly affected by Egon Schiele and Klimt they conquest me every day. Looking into their drawings I got to know myself, I felt like a part of them, understood what is was I need and what excites me – namely, love and eroticism, beauty and pain. I can not forget to mention the photographer whose influence was really huge and crucial for my work, this is a Polish photographer Jan Saudek. He opened my eyes to the ethereal flesh that beauty “beyond”, all the happiness we can know if we learn to accept the pain, the joy, beauty and imperfections as a whole.
KALTBLUT: Do you still paint? How did photography win you over?
Mira: No, since I started to photograph I finally interrupted drawing, I just replaced it with photography. Both arts for me are very similar and interrelated. Largely I actually stayed true to painting, because for the main part of the process of creating images I work in Photoshop. The truth is that I do not attach great importance to the photographic technique, but to the post processing. It brings me real pleasure. Therefore I do not define myself as a photographer, although I do make art photography. Frankly, I found and chose photography from when I discovered the existence of Photoshop and the potential that it brings. It is this unbelievable program that opened the way for me, the opportunity to continue creating, connecting painting and photography into one, as a challenge.
KALTBLUT: And finally, what is the meaning of water in your work?
Mira: Indeed, the majority of my works are in the water, this of course is not accidental. From many points of view, for me the water is very suitable to express what I carry in me and recreate my ideas. First I will say that from a technical point of view, shooting water brings me great joy. In contact with light, shadows, shapes and colours the water transforms in an incredible way and the final effect is outstanding and always surprising. It’s really inspiring to me. From the artistic point of view and as a vehicle, the water is my creation. The creation, the life, the power…the water is filled with tremendous energy. It is the winner of pleasure and delight, it gives life, but also poses a risk, threat, it can destroy us. I love the transparency and purity of water, light and reflecting and transformations that is suffered in contact with another medium. For me, the water is a highly erotic element precisely because of the opposites that it brings. Water is the one who quenches our thirst and saves us. Lust for life in each of us, the thirst for love and the eternal struggle and attempt to erase, to dull, to heal the pain, sadness, loneliness …
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson