Artist Spotlight: The Drawings of Maess

10 Oct

Drawings of Maess are always characterized by an uncommon precision of the line, frivolous and whimsical at the same time, and an uncommon saturation of the image, so often mistaken for computer generated images.

She draws from such distant sources as Spanish expressionism (with its dark humor), anti-discursive games of Duchamp (with their foolishness), and Monory’s neorealist painting, all tossed with caustic intensity. Her visual language varies between geographical markings, closed contour lines, computer-like documentation, a measure of potential instability and an eternally looping abstract form, with nervous, compulsive lines and organic structure. Here we learn more about her and her work in this interview:

Where are you from and where you currently live?

I was born in Warsaw, Poland, however, when I was a child I lived in Palapye (Botswana). That was my first most influential travel experience. Later, I moved to Porto (Portugal) for a few years with short stays in La Plata (Argentina) and Lisbon. Now I am back to my hometown and looking forward to my next project to be shown here.

Why do you work in this particular medium?

I feel that drawing is the language I am the most fluent in.  Sometimes my way of thinking seems to be bizarre; I have “visual thoughts” then I wonder in which language to describe it.  It doesn’t have to be my mother tongue, sometimes I find that a word/phrase let’s say in Portuguese is closer to describe a given thought.  When drawing I don’t have to make that outrageous collage of different systems, rather I try to construct my own grammar and notation.

Additionally, I appreciate the practical side of the media.  Drawing as a process requires few tools and it can be done virtually everywhere.

What is your goal is with your art?

Following Immanuel Kant I think art is about creating brand new form of conveying a given content. When it comes to my individual pursuits, I use drawing as a form of choice and let the conceptual message vary according to my current intellectual interests.

Tell us some general information about yourself and what sets you apart?

Besides drawing I like contemporary music, playing the piano, reading everything about Glenn Gould and engaging in other highly theoretical activities. Having a degree in Industrial Design I am also interested in how things work, especially when it comes to web design and how virtual world impacts our perceptions. When it comes to less cerebral fascinations, I learn Argentinean tango which I am hoping to reach advanced level sometime in a next decade.

What is your latest discovery about your own art?

My art rather makes me discover things. Right now I am preparing new work for Berlin Preview and during research phase I came across a 3d map of the solar system which I plan to incorporate into ultrasound imagery. The interlude was shown at Berlin Emerging Art Fair in September, but this is just an initial stage of this project.

More about Maess: Maess (b.1982,Warsaw) graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 2005 she received a scholarship to attend the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Porto Portugal. She has had exhibitions in Plumba Contemporary Art (Porto, Portugal (2006)), Residencia Corazon (La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008)), Able Gallery (Berlin, Germany (2009)), Museum Santa Cecilia (Rome (2010)) to name a few. Her drawings have been published at Fukt Magazine for Contemporary Drawing.

Visit Maess’ website or Dessin Contemporain blog (site is in French) to see more artwork.

Special thank you to Warsaw based art critic Michal Fopp for the interview.

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