The Other Art Fair Artist Preview #4 Maria Mari - FAD Magazine

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The Other Art Fair Artist Preview #4 Maria Mari

Maria Mari at Work

Bacchanal. Maria Mari

Men at your feet. Maria Mari

The Other Art Fair is coming up in a few weeks time and at FAD we thought we would give you an insight/snap shot at some of the great artists who will be showing from the 22nd November this year.

Maria Mari is our forth artist preview

1 Is this the first time you will be exhibiting at TOAF?
I attended TOAF in May’2012 and I was deeply impressed. The fair puts in connection artists with galleries and simultaneously attracts a huge amount of general public.
I have exhibited world widely, most of the venues where I have showcased my work have been private institutions, galleries or museums. I realized I was missing the most exciting public one artist can have in show: the real people coming just upon the street.
My work is exquisite, refined and classy. I look forward to share it with the general public.
As Picasso said: “A painter is someone who paints what he sells. An artist is someone who sells what he paints.”

2 What will you be exhibiting?
I will be exhibiting a new collection of works untitled “Bacchanal” in TOAF.
It’s a serie of works made exclusively from life with exquisite sensualism that evoques the Beauty of the Human Body.

“Bacchanal” is a festivity of nudes that are exhibiting themselves, and it is a tribute to the Male Nude. One of the pieces on display, “Canon” is a nod to Polykleitos’s ideal measurements for a naked man body. The piece was censored on a solo exhibition in Madrid and asked to be removed from the show.

I will show original drawings and sketches, in different techniques such as graphite, charcoal, white chalk and pastel. All the works are for sale.

Limited signed edition prints of all my artworks will be also available, such as the print featuring “Decorum”: a serie of mini colorful male derrieres.

My award winning design sculpture “Men at your feet” will also be available to purchase in a limited sculpture edition. The design was censored in Spain and awarded at the London Festival of Architecture 2012.

3 Did you study fine art ? And if you did where did you study?
I studied Fine Art at the Barcelona School of Arts and Design. I pursued my studies in Florence, Italy, where I specialized in the Renaissance Old Masters Painting Techniques. I graduated at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence. My fascination with the individual, the possibility to investigate through the human face in the depths of the soul, led me to specialize in portrait.

4 Which artists have influenced your work?
I get a lot of inspiration at work while I listen to powerful pieces of Beethoven or Wagner. I’m also a passionate of Maria Callas’s dramatic voice, and very much influenced by Italian film director Luchino Visconti’s extraordinary sense of esthetic.

I’m an avid of Oscar Wilde’s Art essays and irony. I guess what inspires me is all forms of Beauty. In painting, I’m in love with Caravaggio’s tenebrism , Grosso’s sensuality, and Sorolla’s light.

5. Can you tell us more about your work and what are the main ideas you would like to express?
I am a contemporary figurative artist. My work concentrates in the Beauty of The Human Body with the techniques of Florentine Renaissance.
I work exclusively from life and based on my knowledge of human anatomy and imagination. In nature I find all the inspiration I need to elaborate my artwork. I do not reproduce human reality but an idyllic, dream-like, quiet and timeless ideal of Beauty in its pure, harmonious and ever memorable form, a reality of its own.

My work is essentially humanistic and esthetic and is based on the Renaissance drawing and painting techniques. While working on my drawings, I look for the precision and amazing tangibility -as if they had been drawn with the most delicate and precise of instruments. They are the result of an extremely harmonious rapport and interaction between eye and hand, hand and tool, material and surface, forming and recognizable motif through a network of lines- the human body. An entire gallery of naked bodies, these male characters build a pretext and cover for anatomical drawings of bodies reclining, standing or in motion.

I model my forms in fine chiaroscuro, giving expressiveness to the faces by applying firmer lines, emphasizing the white spaces with black charcoal, capturing brightness on the white background. I use sfumato to achieve the impression of softness, and by the way I diffuse light on form, almost caressing it, I try to give it fullness and poetry; providing an enchanting tangibility that constantly provokes the hand into reaching out and touching and permitting the eye to discern structures and textures.

I work in my studio in Clerkenwell, where I currently take portrait commissions.

6. How do you start the process of making work?
Most of the work I’m showing at TOAF started at Soho striptease clubs in London. I bring my drawing sketch book with me and start to compose quick gesture drawings with the first ideas. I leave my imagination to get inspired by the bodies that are exhibiting themselves, the beauty of how the light incidates on them or the drama of their gesture.

Back to my working studio, the models that pose for my artwork are professional strippers and go-go dancers from the Soho Nightlife Clubs. At the studio I develop my ideas based in my quick spontaneous drawings.

Technically, I use ruff grainy papers that have an optimum attachment of the charcoal powder on the paper surface. I use a range of different charcoal hardness and I sharp them to a fine point in order to achieve the details.

I start my work using the sight size method, setting s a vantage point where the subject and the drawing surface appear to be the same size. Then, using a variety of measuring tools (which can include strings, sticks, mirrors, levels, and plumb-lines) I draw the subject so that, when viewed from the set vantage point, the drawing and the subject have exactly the same dimensions. This method has been previously used by Old Masters such as Sargent and Velazquez.

7. What do you hope to achieve from exhibiting at TOAF?
I want to share my ideas of Beauty and Sensualism with the general public.
I believe original, quality and exquisite Art can be purchased by anyone in our society.
I look forward to meet up with gallerists and art lovers at the venue.

8. What plans do you have after TOAF ?
Next year I look forward to my next solo exhibition in London.
I will enjoy a Christmas group exhibition in a Mayfair´s gallery.
My large scale sculpture “Men at your feet” has been selected by Madrid City Council to be shown across Spain in 2012/2013 in urban city centers as well as in other European cities.
I recently completed a 2.5 m large portrait for the Oman Consulate in Spain and have subsequently since been commissioned to complete a serie of 5 more.


See Jennifer Hooper’s Q&A 2. Jack Sawbridge and 3. Carla Nizzola




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