Artist Maria Rivan’s collages are works of her very personal vision commenting on this world of change, beauty, diversity and mystery. They explore the idea of existing alternate realities and fantastical other worlds which transport us into a surreal and exciting universe.
By appropriating an array of sourced vintage ephemera, Maria seeks to overwhelm us with her compositions by combining vivid and seductive colours with powerful and often humorous imagery. Beginning either with a blank canvas or a found bygone print the viewer experiences a visual and sensory overload from the hundreds of carefully cut-out found elements that are built upon the entirely re-invented base picture now altered and transformed, allocating new meaning.
These playful utopias evoke romantic visions referring to an existence without limitation, celebrating life amongst experiences of chaos and negativity. Half human, half animal genetic mutations curiously roam these lands, suggesting visions of our planet’s future, hallucinations or life in another dimension with a view to discover new ways of viewing the lives that we lead and notions of interconnectedness. They are metaphors for our lives, questioning reality.
Maria draws inspiration from philosophical teachings, cultural references such as vintage Hollywood films, Hitchcock and the sci-fi TV films and shows she watched as a child. Her collage practice is a continuation of her childhood experiences; the active sense of play when exploring ideas during the making process, the rejection of logical depiction and the destruction of the original image.
The Pin-up series has been evolving rapidly. Each individual movie star develops their own firm identity, as if they were a solid memorable character starring in one of Rivans’ invented scripts. These leading ladies have been highly influenced by strong female actors like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford who made a huge impression on Rivans when she was a child. The Pin-up characters hold qualities of women who are particularly empowered and have recently been named after famous women explorers and inventors.
Maria is a full-time artist working in collage and its 3D development. After graduating in 3D Design at Brighton Art College in the 80’s, she went on to run her own jewellery workshop. Her time as a jeweller has naturally transposed into her artwork, which is meticulous, time-consuming and highly intricate.
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