Alessandra Maria is a young artist and there isn’t a whole lot on her website. But what is there – is beautifully haunting and seems to be progressing in a fabulous direction. Alessandra describes her work as “visceral and instinctive”, exploring the facets of “feminism and self reflection.”
We first saw her work at Spoke’s booth at ArtMrkt 2013 and she is one of those artists – one who’s work you have to see in person. The quality and surface of her images are like a yellowed, sun faded artifact you would discover in a thrift store. And those eyes! Her subject’s stares are riveting, lovely and supernatural. They speak of vintage times and modern subjects about to metamorphosis - like the many flowers and butterflies which adorn her subjects.
- We have a little Q&A with Alessandra to share -
Where did you grow up? Currently live?
I grew up in Seattle, and I miss it. But then again I get to live in Brooklyn, New York, so I have no complaints!
What is the specific media you use ?
I actually just draw, to be honest. I’ve always preferred drawing over painting, so I had to figure out how to make the work feel complete without resorting to paint. If I need a darker effect, sometimes I’ll use charcoal or layers of thin black ink, but I really just prefer to work with plain old graphite. All the hair is rendered in Liquitex black ink, and often I’ll have elements of gold leaf throughout the work. The brown tint to the paper is actually coffee! I’m an addict, and I stain all of the watercolor paper.
Are the butterflies in your work a symbol? Or just something you like?
Actually both the butterflies and the flowers are symbolic… Flowers are cut, bound up, and arranged for the sole purpose of being beautiful – once they start to become ugly, they’re no longer useful and are thrown out. I think the way they age reminds me of the aging of women – there is such a desperate push to try to stay young and beautiful (just walking into a drugstore and seeing the aisles and aisles dedicated to appearance is kind of crazy, when you think about it). I think there is an underlying feeling in society that once a women loses her beauty, she loses some of her power and relevance. I guess, in putting the butterflies and flowers in, it’s an ephemeral reminder. It’s a protest against all of that, a reminder that she’ll fade in the same way.
What feminist traits/thoughts/goals are most important to you currently?
That’s a good question – for me the answer is constantly changing. Today I was thinking about the obligations placed on men to fulfill the role of being strong, less open, completely self-reliant, less emotional, et cetera. And yesterday I was thinking about the bravery of Malala Yousafzai, and her advocacy for the education of young women.
LINK: To Alessandra Maria’s Website
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