Mara Gajic’s photographs are the best kind of deceptive. At first glance they appear pleasant, almost jaunty, with a clean aesthetic and textbook compositional balance. Then the sadness creeps in.
Like a mime whose act starts with charming, albeit predictable slapstick before transforming into dark observations on the human condition, Gajic’s photographs are glazed with promised perfection while beneath they slouch under the weight of awareness. And boy oh boy, it’s a beautiful sight.
The emerging Toronto-based artist often utilizes her own form in front of the camera, embodying a Cindy Sherman-like chameleon talent for portraying various characters. Whether this choice is made because of preference or strictly necessity, the wide-eyed Gajic perfectly enacts the performative skills required for her stark, dramatic imagery.
In her latest series titled Boundaries, she captures the sterile borders we construct between our neighbours and ourselves. Gajic has a style that isolates both the viewer and the subject to the point of heavy compassion.