Marta Zgierska, born in 1987, Lublin, Poland. She holds MFA in Photography (The Leon Schiller National Film, Television and Theatre School), MA in Theatrology and MA in Journalism (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University). In 2015 she was named one of Lens Culture's Top 50 Emerging Talents. In 2016 she won one of the most prestigious photography awards – Prix HSBC pour la Photographie and also Daylight Photo Awards, Reminders Photography Stronghold Grant, FotoLeggendo Giovanni Tabo Prize and Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award. In the same year she was nominated for the ING Unseen Talent Award. Her project "Post" has been published as a book by Actes Sud in 2016. It received the PDN Photo Annual Award (2017). Her works were exhibited at Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki, 2017), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (Geneva, 2017), Museum Dr. Guislain (Ghent, 2017), Musee de la Photographie Andre Villers (Mougins, 2016), Galerie Esther Woerdehoff (Paris, 2016), Gowen Contemporary Gallery (Geneva, 2016 and 2019), Galerie Intervalle (Paris, 2017 and 2019), Unseen Amsterdam (2017), Artgenève (2019). Her works were presented also during numerous festivals, including Festival Circulation(s) and Athens Photo Festival. In 2018 she was nominated for the prestigious Foam Paul Huf Award, in 2019 for the DZ BANK Art Collection Fellowship. In 2019 she was named Artist of the Year at the DongGang International Photo Festival in South Korea. Her works can be found in the collection of HSBC Foundation and in many private collections.

After a serious car accident, my body, physically affected, naturally became a tool for studying the reality. I’m stitching painful performative process in colorful sweet aesthetics, taken from the visual code characteristic for the modern beauty industry, to tell about current oppression of feminine body. I explore the canons of feminine beauty and undermine the pressure that the contemporary society exerts on the woman’s image. 

In the modern world, Beauty is god. A deity that requires frequent sacrifice. I make votive wax figures to beseech the deity to make me beautiful. By covering my own body in a wax shell, I myself become a votive figure. I make a sacrifice of my body to this new god.

The color on the wax is not decorative in itself, it is driven by the beauty products used to decorate the body, a representation of the cult of beauty. The trace of lipstick, shining through the waxen layer, marks the point of contact between the living body and the shell.

The beauty of the body has become religion, and its cult, in a paradoxical twist, spreads best through virtual reality, gaining millions of followers in the process. For many, the depiction of appealing, desirable body becomes the only pursuit, a way of life, a stepping stone to a life of fame and fortune. The body and its beauty have become commodities that can be monetized to an unprecedented extent. And inexorably, we ourselves have become a part of that particular reality.

Selected by PHmuseum Director Giuseppe Oliverio and PHmuseum Curator Rocco Venezia.