Mariana Cairo

The interview with our art competition '23 winner!


What themes or ideas have had a particularly strong influence on your art lately?

My greatest inspiration at the moment are the faces of the world, of people as well as of nature.

At a time when social media dictates our look and what we need, I look for inspiration in painting beyond all of that.

The purpose of my art is, on the one hand, to represent and celebrate real people. With all our uniqueness, our traditions, similarities as well as differences. And on the other hand, honoring Mother Nature for her intangible elements that she bestows on us every day.

Are there certain artists who influence your work?

I must admit that this question is very difficult to answer.

I have a long list of master painters whose artworks and technique I deeply admire: Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, Nicolas V Sanchez, Juan Zaragoza are just a few.

However, there are also the other “anonymous artists”. The ones you meet at a Mexican market selling their handmade art. The ones that show you the unique pictures they took on their Africa vacation. Or nature itself, which adorns the trail with wildflowers. All of these are different types of artists who provide significant and unexpected inspiration to my work.

What is the meaning of art for you personally? Is there something you want to achieve with it?

For me, art is a universal language.

A language without words but with feeling. A person can be touched by an artwork while others feel nothing. And that’s the beauty of art. The freedom to feel everything or nothing.

I hope my art can be a language that honors the beauty of people and nature. This beauty that nowadays very often is not seen on our screens, but we find it when we go outside and connect with the world, with our roots and with nature.

Can you tell us something about the current project for ZHAM?

In the summer of 2023, I took part in ZHAM’s annual art competition for your new image of your reusable bottles.

Since being the winner I have learned a lot from your team and what the brand wants to stand for. This is a very exciting and inspiring collaboration.

What was the inspiration behind this work? Is there a personal connection to it?

The theme for this year was “Switzerland, an open canvas”. A topic with which I felt very connected. I only recently moved to Switzerland, but I have had a very strong bond with Switzerland for years.

Being able to show my own view of my new homeland without the typical clichés (yes, Switzerland is more than mountains and cheese) was therefore very important to me.

My inspiration was not to present Switzerland as a “static postcard”, but as a unique country with magical energy that harmoniously connects people with nature.

What message or mood do you want to convey with this work?

Switzerland moves and blooms!

In my opinion, the beauty of this country is the energy that connects people, nature and tradition.

This can be found at a train station in a vibrant city as well as on a quiet bike ride through the forest. The energy that connects everyone and everything and I want to convey exactly this feeling.

If you had the opportunity to live in an extraordinary place, where would it be and why?

I would like to live in an old house in the Scottish highlands. It’s about the seclusion and the closeness to nature, to which I feel very drawn.

In addition, the rainy weather is perfect for days of painting 😉

Is there anything else people really need to know about you?

Instead of telling more about myself, I would like to share an attitude to life that has helped me to be happier with myself and the world. It’s a quote from Dan Koe that says:

“Most people are afraid of risk when the greatest risk is ending up as everyone else. Take the leap”.

Most of us are a leap away from a life that truly reflects itself. Don’t be afraid to give yourself this opportunity 😉

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