marko svart is a scandinavian multidisciplinary artist and designer currently based in reykjavík, iceland.
his work range includes conceptual art, performance, dance/choreography, fashion design, film and music.
From a young age, Svart found comfort and integrity in art, using it to survive his childhood depressions and anxieties.
” I come from a family with zero interest in art and I did indeed struggle to be understood by people around me. Now as an adult however, I am rather grateful for it, since it gave me a total freedom to find my own voice, without any input from anyone. It endorsed me to think independently and become my own person, instead of relying on the norm. “
At the age of 9, Svart begun attending dance classes and was actively making his own music at home, which gave a steady base for his future career as an artist. The main activity during his early years was dance; ranging from street dance, to contemporary, to ballet etc.
In 2010, while attending more than 10 dance classes every week on top of his regular school studies, Svart suddenly felt a loss of interest for what had been the most primal part of his life for several years. The reasons varied, but often came down to the commercialization of his dance practices and a heavy depression creeping in. During this time, Svart was also studying film-making and begun explorin various other art forms and mediums.
“Those years I was a complete mess, but I consider them also to be the best of my life. It was then, during my depression, when I could fully immerse myself in my artistry. It was like nothing else mattered. I used to cut my wrists to make art in my room on the days when I refused to exit the world of my mind.”
It was not easy though. In his most severe time, he was taken into a psychiatric hospital, which Svart quickly managed to talk his way out of, because he was terrified of not being able to continue making his art.
For years to come, this emotional turbulence ruled marko’s artistry until he met with korean artist Kyuri.
A new chapter with Kyuri
Marko’s life together with his lover Kyuri is a whole story of its own, but a vital part of how his artistry changed during his early adulthood. Svart and Kyuri first met online and started off as penpals but they quickly found a remarkably deep connection to eachother. They shared their most internal secrets and found mutual ground through art.
In 2014, Kyuri and Marko decided to meet in real life and chose Iceland as their sacred meeting ground. The couple made an intricate plan for how their meeting should play out and their relationship was a peculiarly conceptual one.
“Since the first time we talked online, we ventured on this conceptual journey. She was like a ghost, trapped in another world, desperately sending signals across the planet to feel togetherness with me. Before going to Iceland, I remember telling my friends that I was “off to meet the love of my life” even though we had never actually met. I just knew from the beginning that it would change my life forever to meet her. It was completely surreal and blurred the line between dream and reality”
After their meeting in Iceland, Kyuri moved in with Marko in Stockholm and the couple struggled to express their emotions in reality. The conceptual nature of their relationship changed instead into a normality. Marko and Kyuri kept creating their art individually and independently, as opposed to what they originally had envisioned.
During this time, Svart struggled to find the internal inspiration which he had previously relied on. Instead, he began looking outward, exploring more visual and conventional types of creativity. Svart crafted and released his first fashion collection in 2015, focusing on appearance over substance.
Work and emotions fell into an ambivalence while Svart continued further on his road in clothes design, although desperately holding onto his conceptual artistry. This led to the beginning of his multimedia project Season of Melancholy, which consisted of clothing, film, performance and research, and became the first attempt to tie all of his mediums into a single concept. This new approach was satisfactory and set the basis for many of his works in the future. Throughout this period, Svart was also teaching regular dance classes which further stretched his creative limits.
The year of turmoil.
In 2016, the personal life of Marko and Kyuri became somewhat turbulent, due to various mundane reasons regarding work, money, immigration issues, and emotional stress. After a severe anxiety attack, Svart became obsessed with mortality and was convinced that there was something physically wrong inside his brain. After numerous hospital visits and MRI’s, the conclusion was that Svart was simply haunted by his anxiety. This fact was first challenging to accept, but eventually turned into a mental comfort, like reuniting with an old friend after a long time. Svart was again admitted to therapy and medication, and a willingness to organize his life emerged.
The process abrubtly ended.
On a sunny day in July, Kyuri took her own life.
to be continued…