Growing up on Sydney Beaches, and now living on the north coast of New South Wales, Marko Hrubyj-Piper has become synonymous with his paintings of coastal scenes. Australian beach culture continues to be the focus of his new series, Lifestyle Choices, which documents moments of leisure experienced when connecting with people and landscape. Paintings feature figures lazing on sundrenched sand, floating on paddleboards and swimming through sparkling ocean waters.
Youthful characters are often modelled on friends and memories, revisited or reimagined. When recreating and reconfiguring past moments, Marko explains that he is generating a dialogue between different places and figures. There is an undeniable sense of intimacy that is established within these relationships. This is made visible through friends and lovers whose barely clothed bodies are often reclining, resting or embracing. Occasionally one of the figures will meet the viewer’s gaze, inviting them to join their carefree world.
After sharpening his technical skills for the past ten years, Marko states that he draws from “traditional and impressionistic painting ideas and moments of random expression to create something thoughtful and, hopefully, magical”. This experimental approach to painting can be witnessed in the way that Marko uses shape, tone and texture to render a strong and almost overexposed sunlight. In some instances, light and reflection appear so intensely that it becomes depicted through white negative space.
Marko has exhibited extensively across his home state of NSW, and has been acquired within private collections across Australian and internationally.
- Words by Gabrielle Bergman