Have you ever felt self-conscious? Even just a little bit, like on the first day of school or work? While artist Mariana Murta likes to classify her art work as “self-conscious” pieces, she attempts to make everyone comfortable through her use of humour.
Introduced to art by her sister and family members, Mariana has been into art since she was a kid. “ I have a lot of artists in my family but not official artists,” says Mariana. “But my sister was really into drawing and she also works with cinema and animation. So when I used to see her very sporadically, because we didn’t live together, she was kinda like my introduction to the art world I guess. And then on my dad’s side is really a lot of people that are into art. Not officially artists, but into art.”
In relation to the artwork she is producing during her time at PILOTENKUECHE, Mariana is exploring the idea of “identity, body and gender themes through role playing in her paintings.” She is working on a new series that explores these issues by using the visual language of sport. Mariana is currently working on playing “around with the position of the paintings and where I put things.” Also, she is planning to incorporate this into her work while being in the residency. Since time is very valuable and important to her, wanting to “get away and to just have a new environment to be able to produce work with a timestamp” was a major goal.
Images by PILOTENKUCKE or Supplied by Mariana Murta
School life recap of the artist
Starting as a video performance major with an interest in multimedia, Mariana quickly changed her major to painting and found it to be a better fit. She now lives in Antwerp, but is originally from Setúbal, Portugal. Going away to the Netherlands for a study exchange easily turned into a year. After Mariana experienced the education system and what the Netherlands had to offer her, it was an easy decision. From there she stayed in the Netherlands and then moved to Antwerp shortly after to pursue a masters in Painting. During her studies, she was able to build her work ethic in painting and not be afraid to try new things. Mariana explains that while there people weren’t afraid to say how they felt about what was produced. She found that helped her to morph into a better painter.
Plans after PILOTENKUECHE and the foreseeable future include participating in more residencies. The “project that I am working on now is probably going to take a lot of time. I have a lot of ideas. I would like to make a solo exhibition with all of the ideas I do. So I would like to do other residencies.”
“Leaving people with a smile” is important to her when people come to see her work. During our talk we both had smiles on our faces and taking a lot of laughing breaks while talking. Mariana wants people to relate to her work through humor and vulnerability, “I hope I can be able to help people take life a little less seriously. I think that by being vulnerable and being silly you can relate and be silly with the goose.”
Written by Briana Farrar
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