Marina Abramović - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Considered one of the pioneers of performance art, Marina Abramović has fashioned her body as both subject and medium throughout her career. Exhaustively investigating her physical and mental limits, Abramović’s work explores the dualities of human existence and creative transcendence. In the photograph offered here, Abramović  positions her face between two maracas decorated as skulls. Skeletons have been an integral part of her imagery for much of her career. By pairing this symbolism with the maracas, an instrument known for its use in spiritual ceremonies, Abramović highlights the connection between life, death and spirituality. Self-Portrait with Maracas was a centerpiece of the artist’s Two Hearts exhibition at Galerie Krinzinger in Vienna in 2018.

    • Provenance

      Directly from the artist

    • Literature

      Ward, Marina Abramović, cover and p. 102

    • Artist Biography

      Marina Abramović

      Serbian • 1946

      Marina Abramovic is celebrated as a pioneering practitioner of performance art, best known for her works that explore the physical limitations of the body, as well as the body’s potential as a vehicle to spiritual metamorphosis. Born in Belgrade, Abramovic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and in Zagreb, Croatia. She was among the first generation of performance artists of the 1970s, a group that often resorted to using their own bodies as an artistic medium. Her works often explore extremes of sensation, and, frequently, the audience is invited to participate in the intense, and often exhausting, painful performances. She later regularly collaborated with German artist Ulay on other performative works, exploring the capacities of the body, as well as constructions of gender and social systems in their pieces.

      She also began traveling around the world to perform, exploring the body and nature as a means of achieving spiritual transformation, in locations ranging from the Gobi Desert to the Tibetan mountains, and the Great Wall of China. Abramovic’s presentations of her work include sound, video, photography, language, and sculpture, in addition to using her body as the central medium for her work. She has exhibited her work at the Venice Biennale, where she won a Golden Lion award in 1997, and at Documenta in Kassel, the Whitney Biennial, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Art Basel in Switzerland, and the Kumamoto Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, among many other venues.

      She currently lives and works in Amsterdam and New York.

      View More Works

Property from the Collection of Jason Schmidt and Cory Jacobs


Portrait with Maracas

Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted.
38 1/4 x 42 5/8 in. (97.2 x 108.3 cm)
Overall 50 x 54 1/4 in. (127 x 137.8 cm)

Signed, titled, dated, and numbered AP 2/2 in ink on a Certificate of Ownership accompanying the work. One from an edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $38,100

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023