Natalie Zlamalova

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© Courtesy of the artist and Art Center / South Florida
La Réverie, 2014 Acrylic Ink, Varnish On Wood, Tape Individual Pieces: Variable, All: 12'
no. 18 (Constellation), 11/2013 Acrylic Paint, Ink Pens, Varnish On Wood 36" X 36" X 2.5"
Quick Facts
Works in
Miami Beach

instagram @ohnoooitsnatalie for the latest work


Dreams preoccupy the minds of many living forms at night. Besides being considered a visual inspiration for fantastical works, they can also be utilized as a way of making decisions based on external stimuli. While during the waking state humans are bound by logic in their reasoning, it is not the case in the dream state. According to the cognitive approach popularized by Professor V. Evans, the mind at night processes the data it had been receiving during the day. Since logic does not function properly when one is dreaming, the dreamer is open to solutions which would not be discovered in the waking state.

A very special situation is the so called hypnagogic state which is the fragile moment between sleeping and being awake. At that moment, logic is already shutting down but the dreamer is still aware of reality, knowing he/she is falling asleep. It is also the easiest to remember the coming dreams from this time because of not being completely sleeping yet. One simple way of reaching this state is Dalí’s “Slumber with a Key.”

As a skilled dreamer, my mixed media works explore the various states of dreaming by sometimes using dreams as a topic and a source for their execution, but mostly focusing on the crossroad between dreaming and being awake which is the hypnagogic state, where by using ink drippings I represent the illogical and coincidental, contrasted by the hand-constructed geometric lines and patterns of the logical and premeditated.

As a trained graphic designer, I have always been interested in the intersection of graphic design and the fine arts. Can one become the other? Where are the boundaries between these ostensibly distinct disciplines?

I explore this compelling question by applying mundane and everyday elements, which are more than trivial to produce in design softwares, and by recreating them manually with tremendous patience. The lack of the human factor in today’s graphic design inspired me to work with coincidence, chance and strict repetition done by hand which results in imperfection emerging in final the works. I discovered that a certain ritual was developed in this process, one that was incredibly distinct from the way in which our current technology doesn’t allow for mistakes to happen and further removes human aspects from the work. This process itself, as well as contact with material, tends to be more important than the final result itself; the work completed is almost a by-product.

The continuing decay of any human element in general was also what inspired me to explore our culture’s decline in recognizing one’s subconscious and the aforementioned night visions. By using a range of strategies that rely on dreams, instinct and graphic design, my works function as a reminder and emphasize the need
for these impulses to come back to our lives.

I have hands and I’m not afraid to use them.