Artist
Kara Maria
American artist

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Kara Maria
American artist
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Birth Date

1968

cnickell's picture

Contributor

At first glance, I'm enthralled by the psychedelic colors in Kara Maria's paintings.

After being dazzled by the brightness, I then spy the intense political imagery hidden in the swirls of these prismatic canvases.  From surveillance cameras, to BP logos, to pornographic figures intermixed with military weapons...it's a whirlwind.

Kara's other work includes drawings on hotel stationery of vacationers (did she spy these people in real life?), images of slabs of meat, and abstracted prints.
 
Her most recent body of work focuses on just that, the body.:  Her series "Breast Portraits" omit the head of the person, but show both boobs bared. The photos she paints from were sent to Kara's e-mail by "female friends – including artists, art historians, curators, collectors, and others from across the US and abroad."
 
The first portrait of the series, which features her own chest, now hangs in the home of a private collector.  

 

She is married to another local artist, Enrique Chagoya, and paints here in Sartle's hometown of San Francisco.
 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Kara Maria

Kara Maria is a contemporary American visual artist working in painting and mixed media based in San Francisco. Her work reflects on political topics – feminism, war, and the environment. She borrows from the broad vocabulary of contemporary painting; blending geometric shapes, vivid hues, and abstract marks, with representational elements.

After beginning college at a music conservatory on the East Coast, transferring through a few different schools, and spending a year studying and traveling in Europe, Kara Maria moved to San Francisco in 1990 to attend the University of California at Berkeley. There she earned a BA in Art Practice in 1993, followed by an MFA in 1998.

According to the Sacramento News & Review: "If scientists could record a visual representation of human emotions, it seems plausible that they would look like Kara Maria's paintings. The San Francisco artist's nonrepresentational geometric shapes are exuberantly hued, well-defined and sharp-edged, and they are interrupted by euphoric swirls or by vague, cloudy patches and an occasional flash of a representational item, like a dog or a fly. They're layered, complicated and electric—just like the workings of the mind. Until scientists figure out how to live stream what human emotions look like and project them on a wall, Maria's work may be the closest thing we've got."

Maria’s work can be found in permanent collections including the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA among others. She has been the recipient of awards such as a Masterminds Grant from the SF Weekly, San Francisco, CA; a grant from Artadia, New York, NY; and an Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014-15 Maria was an Artist in Residence at Recology (the San Francisco dump). She also completed a residency at Djerassi Artist in Residence Program in 2003, and was a Lucas Fellow at the Montalvo Art Center, Saratoga, CA for 2015-16. Presses including Gallery 16, San Francisco; Shark’s Ink, Lyons, CO; and Smith Andersen Editions, Palo Alto, CA have published her prints.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Kara Maria.