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Artist of the Week — Katarina Silva

July 16, 2011 by · 7 comments

Interview by Petya Hristova with the photographer Katarina Silva

Photo: Self-portrait Katarina Silva

Katarina Silva: “Photographic expression has made me into a more confident person, because it has given me freedom to be true to myself without any reservations.”

Your breathtaking photography radiates at once tenderness and strength. Is that femininity for you?

Thank you. Yes, femininity to me includes tenderness and strength, softness and power all at once. Over the ages, the feminine energy has been disempowered. My photography seeks to bring back the positive force that females have to offer the world.


Would you like to tell us more about yourself? Who is Katarina Silva?

Katarina Silva is actually a mystery to the public. This is why I never show my face in my self-portraits. Preserving this secrecy helps me release myself into my art in very uninhibited ways. My art is a reflection of who I am, and I am a very iconoclastic, sensitive, free-spirited, philosophical, lover of nature and beauty. If you wish to know more about me, just look at my art, it provides many clues into how I live my life and where. Most of my photographs are taken on the lands surrounding my home.


In your blog you emphasize the importance of contacts not only with the public, but also with other artists. Do you think that the blogs altogether fulfill the perfect communication within the artist’s sphere?

I have found that meeting other artists on the Internet can be a very rewarding experience. Through blogs and social networks like FaceBook, I have made some very enriching connections. However, I think that as far as a “perfect” communication goes, nothing beats meeting someone in person!

How do you get inspired?

As my work is autobiographical, much of my inspiration comes from my own life experiences. I use my art to express my emotions a lot, so I draw inspiration from whatever I am feeling at the time. I also become very inspired when I am surrounded by nature. Being outdoors, in the mountains, or the ocean especially, always stirs my creative juices.


How would you describe your art in one word? What is its message?

If I had to describe my art in a single word I would say ‘empowering’. Creating art is a personally empowering experience for me. It helps me connect with deep, hidden parts of myself and gives them a voice. In this way my art is like my voice, and I am using it to find the power in my voice. I also hope it helps other females find the strength in theirs. This would be my message to others: Be true to yourself no matter what.


You take your self-portraits in just ten seconds… How did you strike on the idea for such a project?

I am a self-portrait photographer on a low budget, so I never bothered to purchase a remote control for my camera. This forced me to use the ten-second timer built into my Leica, which I did. That’s when I noticed that posing in only ten seconds gave me a great adrenalin rush! I had to force myself to really connect with that moment and give myself to the creation without any inhibitions. The time limit brought me out of my shell. It is almost like a meditation. I had to suspend any prejudgments of what I was trying to create and just surrender to the ten seconds in which I needed to create the shot. It is an exciting experience for me and makes me feel so alive!


Do the self-portraits help you to get acquainted with yourself?

Creating an image of myself definitely helps me discover parts of myself. It has been a very interesting process. I am always challenging myself to bring more and more of my being out into the expression of my art. It is continuous. Every time I step in front of my camera I am a new person, as life is constantly changing me. But I am also the same person. I have many sides to me. I think this is true for many people; humans are multi-faceted by nature. So, in my self-portraits, I show all the different sides of my personality. I also revive old parts of me I thought I’d never see again. It is always a surprise what emerges because my creative process is very spontaneous.


Is intuition important for your work as a photographer?

Intuition is probably one of the most important ingredients in my creative process. I always draw from how I feel. I connect with what I am feeling within me, and I follow it’s directive. Sometimes it leads me in unexpected directions! It’s a lot of fun. It’s as if I allow a mystical force to work through me. I like to think of creating art through intuition as a kind of mysticism. At least it feels like that sometimes.

Pensive 1

Do you like other art forms? Do you have favorite books, favorite music genres?

I love all kinds of artistic expression, which my parents always encouraged. I also paint, write poetry and dance. As a child I played the piano. I grew up in a home full of live music, books and beautiful art on the walls. My father was an international traveler, so I was introduced to the art and cultures of many countries. He always said that we were not citizens of one country or another, but instead, we were “world citizens”. This is one of the reasons why my preference in music and books is very varied. You might call it eclectic.

Katarina Silva before and after being a photographer… What is the difference?

Photographic expression has made me into a more confident person, because it has given me freedom to be true to myself without any reservations. Usually society restricts the way we express ourselves to some degree or another, but within art there is no right or wrong. I love this about art! It is always so new and original. I have really benefited from this freedom of artistic expression through my photographs. It has helped me share my own originality. I can’t imagine living without my art.

The Dance

Katarina Silva is an emerging self-portraiture artist whose work’s unique signature is the absence of her face, and the creation of each image in only ten seconds. Her expressive photographic images are fueled by an intuitive and spontaneous, creative process that celebrates the feminine spirit. You may view her work at

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