The Strong, Beautiful Heroines of Artist Maria Berrio
“The Paradise of Others,” 2019, collage with Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas, 92 x 118 inches For a current project, I’ve been doing visual research on depictions of Latin American woman. I’ve been looking for imagery that captures not only the beauty but, also, the strength and dignity …
For a current project, I’ve been doing visual research on depictions of Latin American woman. I’ve been looking for imagery that captures not only the beauty but, also, the strength and dignity of women of the western hemisphere region. That’s when I encountered the beautiful, multi-layered work of Maria Berrio. The main subject of Berrio’s work is women; determined, strong, vulnerable, present.
Besides presenting women as her heroines, Berrio places them in exquisite environments. The backgrounds are surreal, disjointed landscapes constructed of richly layered colors, patterns, and shapes. Some of them are real, some imaginary. To me, they tell a complex story reflecting the world we live in where cultures and influences clash, blend, and co-exist side by side. Maria was born in Colombia, educated in New York and currently works in Brooklyn. Herself a nomad, we see pieces of her immigrant story in her work.
“so many immigrants, myself included, are stuck in the inbetween, not quite from here, and no longer from there. I create work that bears witness to this liminal state of being and acknowledges it as an essential part of being American. I wish to convey that which can never be conveyed: the sheer joy of being, of creation, and the undiscoverable mystery of being alive.”
You can see Maria Berrio’s work at Khon Gallery in Los Angeles. Her exhibition titled A Cloud’s Root opened to the public on June 1.
All images ©Maria Berrio