Eric Marrian – White Square and its mystery

Eric Marrian

Beauty of these abstract forms leads us
to the virtual worlds… Is it the Second Life?
(Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr)

Imagine one morning. Let it be the morning of a big city. Let it be slightly autumn morning. A little cold. It may be a veil of mist. And a little rain. A bit offended wind. Imagine people this morning. There is water underfoot. It is about water falling from the sky. Water drops broken down on the umbrella surfaces. Under these umbrellas there are black raincoats or jackets. And we notice shining watches under the cuffs keeping the umbrellas. Have you imagined? And now, imagine one girl. Let she has a very pale skin. One girl dressed in white silk shirt. She has no black umbrella. She has no a shining watch. She even has no some raincoat or jacket. Only white shirt. There is only body under this shirt. If you are dare to look under the shirt? Wet silk reveals each subtle line of her silhouette leading some mystery for your eyes. An immaterial beauty and sensuality of her delicate body – it is about a mystery of White Square.

Eric Marrian - White Square
Eric Marrian. Carré Blanc. Série 1. étude n0 39

Nu vs Beauty

Any talk about a unique aesthetics of White Square by Eric Marrian will be incomplete without some historical context. Nu photo-art provides quite contradictory emotions because of not only aesthetic perception but some “another” reactions of our brain. As it is known Paris was shocked with the first images of naked body in 1840s. While Julien Vallou de Villeneuve followed some “academic” taste in a context of the restrained artistic tradition, other artists and photographers offered more provocative vision of this genre. For example, Gustave Courbet was the follower of naturalism, and he considered painting as “an essentially concrete art”, as “a completely physical language”. He saw the same sense in any “nu” canvases. So, for example, his work “L’Origine du monde” (1866) best represented his conception about painting which should reveal only real and existing things. More really – was nowhere. Helmut Newton offers bolder photo-art provocation – it is about the images marked with the elements of fetishism and an aggressive sensuality (erotica). Should note, that aestheticization of the female body became deprived of a special artistic value of the “nu” genre photos. Even the naturalism lost its “naturalness” because of an excessive indecency and vulgarity. And instead of an elegant noir nu art photos came to a very shaky side, which is still being discussed: it is about the border where the erotica is stopped and the pornography starts. Naked body was deprived of any beauty “symptoms” (or sexuality). Actually, any external scenes were too far away from art. Some hypertrophied form of the subconscious desires, hidden fears and imitated fantasies of “non-permitted” – were simulated – even in the camera lens.

Eric Marrian. Nu vs Beauty
Eric Marrian. Carré Blanc. Série 6. étude n0 88

A live nude geometry

White Square by Eric Marrian (Carré Blanc) becomes the representation of a new “nu” paradigm. It is about a live nude geometry which saves a mystery. Each of these photo-etudes reveals only some part of the whole image, a certain fragment of shape or movement marked with its own sense. And this sense – opens the space of White Square. Black background becomes a perfect space of “before” or the space “after” – we see the silhouette more clearly. It is about a strange illusion revealed while you’re looking at the photo. It is about the body which is hidden behind a pure nudity. White Square by Eric Marrian represents unique photo-sculptures; it is about enigmatic painting created of the light and shadows, of black and white lines. It is about a special realm of unlocked emotions. We can see only some part of the whole. And White Square becomes the metaphorical scene of a delicate beauty of nude body revealing an essence of a new sensuality. White Square – is a question which needs no the answers.

Eric Marrian - A live nude geometry
Eric Marrian. Carré Blanc. Série 2. étude n0 10.
Eric Marrian - White Square
Eric Marrian. Carré Blanc. Série 1. étude n0 79

Author: Marina Schultz

Source of photos: ERIC MARRIAN


  • “La beauté de ces formes abstraites nous entrainent vers les mondes virtuels… est-ce Second Life..?” (Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr) – Eric Marrian. Carré Blanc. Série 4. étude n0 96.
  • Gustave Courbet, from Realist Manifesto 1861 // Religious Experiance in the Work of Richard Wagner. Marcel Hébert. Edited by C.J.T.Talar. Translated by C.J.T.Talar and Elizabeth Schloesser. The Catholic University of America Press. Washington D.C. 2015. – Stephen Schloesser. Foreword. – X.