Biography


Mirjana Banic, the artist known as  Mirjana Sara Sophia, was born in Zadar (Croatia, ex-SFR Yugoslavia). She now lives in Rome. She has  obtained a degree in Electronic Engineering, a Master’s in I.T., a diploma in General Management and a diploma in Counseling. She has worked in the field of telecommunications for over 20 years as an Account Manager and has also held a managerial role in SIRTI S.p.A.

In 2007 she felt the need to express herself and began painting with oils on canvas something that she had never seen before, something new, but for months she didn’t know what and how.

Whilst researching the subject she came across some interesting material that mentioned the Golden Number (1,61803398..), this magical “number” captivated her from that moment onwards. Shortly afterwards, she came across some photos taken in the UK of crop circles where there were prominent features of the Golden Section Ratio. At this point she knew exactly what she wanted to paint: Crop circles with oils on canvas based on the Golden Section.

Mirjana draws and paints the geometrics of the Golden Section with compass and ruler. She has become an expert in the field. She has never attended art school and uses techniques of her own to reach her artistic achievements. She paints and draws exclusively on linen canvas and on 100% cotton paper using oils. All her paintings are dedicated to the Golden Section, to this special number.

All her paintings are linked, it seems like she has been writing a book and each of her painting represents a part of the Story. Her goal is to share with other people the power of the colors, numbers and magic geometry based on the Divina Proportione.

Since 2010, Mirjana has been exhibiting her works of art in various galleries in Italy: Assisi, Rome, Florence, Spoleto, Monreale, Naples, in the Biennal of Palermo, and also across Europe in Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris and Bruxelles.

 

THE GEOMETRIC UNIT OF THE INVISIBLE (prof. Paolo Levi)

The Universe, be it an atom or a whole, exists and persists thanks to an internal balance we call a Harmony and through which our senses reveal the elements to us... (R. A. Schwaller De Lubicz, The Temple of Man).

This enlightening passage refers to the cultural heritage to which Mirjana Sara Sophia makes explicit reference in subtitling her works, and this particular concept appears to completely define her expressive research, I cannot think of a better way to describe it. I feel that the title of the unusual and eye-opening exhibition, We are Love (Noi siamo Amore) is self-explanatory, where the path of twenty-four paintings might be defined by an art critic relying on easy formulations as being a persuasive cycle of abstract modulations bearing a poetic message. And it is, in fact, a repertoire of tones from musical presences, a concert of voices, each presenting a complex score but in harmonious assonance with the others, and where the attentive eye of the beholder perceives a concatenation of revealing forms, beyond the titles, such as Big Bang or Angel, that are significant only on the surface.

They are dialogues of tones ebbing and flowing, of a sophisticated progression of signs filled with imperceptible vibrations; the receiving mind must go beyond visual seduction to arrive at the mystery of the harmony which, in this context, is defined and transmitted subjectively; we know that our heart beats according to our own unique and secret rhythms, and that is why Mirjana Sara's art is open to infinite variables of interpretation.

Abstract art has, in a now distant past, presented us with, and made us endure, theoretical impositions which did not allow room for freedom of judgement. It is worth recalling Piet Mondrian's theory in this context: for this Dutch master of abstract-geometric research, the only true masters of abstraction were, if anyone, romantic landscapers or expressionists, whose signs and shades were far from being bearers of reality.  Instead, for Mondrian, the visible perfection of geometry and the atonal purity of primary colours were representative of the undeniable concreteness of reality in art.

In the case of our painter, we do not wish to formulate definitions for the reasons behind her poetry, which could not be exhaustive, and would also be misleading, in conceptual terms. However, we may claim, and for good reason, that her works are creations of brilliant visionary abstraction, serving as reflections on a timeless and not officially historically recognized theoretical ‘other place’. They are, in fact, visual formulations related to the geometrics of the Golden Ratio, or  De Divina Proportione as it was called in 1497 in the treaty of Luca Pacioli, given its cosmogenic and spiritual implications. Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan mathematician born in Sansepolcro was a collaborator of Leonardo da Vinci, who illustrated Pacioli's treaty.

However, through proper analysis of this complex aesthetic expressive language, one may speak of virtuous decorative painting, recalling perhaps an unconscious legacy of the Vienna Secession. In addition, at the tonal and harmonic level, we are confronted with a visual musicality of strict construction, comparable to the phrasing and variations of J.S. Bach and, with a non-arbitrary and cultural time jump, to the twelve-tone compositions of A. Schoenberg, implying a close relationship between music and mathematics for both type of artist. They are thus works which are exquisitely cerebral, expressions of a passage that can be accessed by those wishing to delve into the knowledge of the "mystical number governs the harmony of nature" (Schwaller De Lubicz, legendary author of reference for Mirjana Sara Sophia, defines the Golden Ratio as such), the more occult implications of which are immersed in Ancient Egypt, or even in the perfect calculations that underlie the Pyramids' architectural invention.

Ultimately, we would be doing a disservice to our painter if we resorted to aesthetic formulas belonging to the realm of abstract research, because each of her twenty-four works seem completely unprecedented and unusual. This solitary artist, moving between art and science, crosses the threshold of a visionary that even American Optical Art painters of the seventies and eighties - if we were ever tempted to find any superficial similarity between her and them - never even took into consideration.

Mirjana Sara Sophia's culture takes us back from those obscure times, to the most noble of our Renaissance artworks; which turned utopian perfection into a compositional method and conceptual reference, via the proportional relationship between two measurements defined in the mathematical formula of the Golden Ratio. But why did Mirjana Sara Sophia begin to work in this manner? In one of her writings, she states that she had always believed she had no talent for painting. As a result, she studied electronic engineering. But after a trip to Egypt, she began to study the ancient culture in depth, the mysteries of which she had been drawn to since childhood. And after two years, she understood her vocation, and she decided, just as Leonardo and Pacioli had done in the past, to fuse art with the fundamental constraints of the Divine Proportion which governs the laws of many natural events.

She has worked with rigorous patience and a selective palette since 2007, armed with a compass and ruler in order to give a shape to and to breathe precious life into works rich in  statements and emotions related to her own spirituality, all individually significant, and executed in a wide variety of styles.

As a concluding statement, let us quote what she herself has written: I said to myself, there must be a reason why the Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli defined it as the Divine Proportion five hundred years ago, and so I've dedicated the last years of my life to trying to understand..

:

She is a painter with a clear ecstatic depth for the invisible One, a proportion of Divine essence that is unseen by the eye of a profane beholder: while the elect, lending an ear, sees its voice, just happened to the artist Mirjana Sara Sophia amidst the silence of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres.

Prof. Paolo Levi
Turin, 3rd April 2013