Maria is an artist from Santiago, Chile. She doesn’t take her own pictures but the art she creates is entirely her own! She has always been inspired by visual arts and new things, intuition and clearly defined work processes. After her completing her studies in architecture she moved to Barcelona to study urban design and public art. While working on several art projects she also creates these little geometrical thread marvels.
KALTBLUT: You work mainly on others’ pictures. Do you sometime plan to work on your own pictures as well? What fascinates you about a photograph and makes you think you want to use it?
Maria: Indeed, working on others’ pictures has been the way I have done it till now. I am not a photographer. I think it will demand too much from me to be able to conceive an interesting image that invites me to work on it. The lack of time is my biggest issue, think about what the image would be, take the perfect scene, shoot it, redo it if necessary, and then work on it with threads is a lot of work that will too much time of me. I don’t dismiss that idea, I found, in taking pictures, a great challenge that someday I will do it. The idea of being the complete owner of my images is what I find most interesting. But for instance, I’m more into exploring the relation that I’m gaining from my interventions and what I’m seeing. That’s why I’m working from somebody’s images that I find, mainly, on Flickr. For me, this image has certain geometric patterns, sequences and elements that in my mind, are asking to be connected. There are many incredible and beautiful images but, most of the time, I find it quite difficult to find that relation of elements, in those cases I prefer not to intervene in order to not force or impose something because if that happens that will bother me a lot. I think that the works that I have liked the most, have been those where the points of origin really answer to the elements that I find in the image and the connections are evident enough. Those where the connections between dots are absolutely clear, and where I don’t have to make up anything.
Maria: It is true. I like to intervene on images in black and white. I think that t is a more “neutral” base where I can work and where the relations that I seek to emphasize can be highlighted in a better way. Also I feel that I am not working with the original and with this, the need to keep that reality. It has happened to me that in certain collaborations where the author of the image has asked me to maintain their original tones it has been a great complication, because what I do is to print it (the first change of tones), work on it and then to scan it (the second change of tones) and to try to recover the initial condition is never convincing for the author of the photography as for me. In this way, the original tones of the threads change. Everything changes and I do not like it.
KALTBLUT: It seems people are re-discovering geometry in art! Do you see yourself as part of a movement or is it just that you always loved lines etc?
Maria: It is curious what you´re saying and I think that you’re right. I think that it can make the meaning of an image more interesting with the overlapping of information, which in this case can be the visualization of the geometry. For me, certain works provoke questions but there are others also in which I feel that they do not communicate anything new to me, as the superposition of a triangle on the photography of a landscape really does not say anything to me. I do not consider myself to be a part of a movement. Maybe it is my background in Architecture that has taken me to do this for pleasure or probably the simple fact of being curious in relation to things.
KALTBLUT: You’re living in Barcelona at the moment I think. How has Europe influenced your work? How inspiring would you say Barcelona is to you?
Maria: Yes I’m living in Barcelona since the end of August, 2009. I came here to do a Master in Urban Design and all this time it has meant a great professional and especially personal growth. The places, the people, the situations that I have lived, such as being far from home, to have the possibility of being reinvented, to have time to do new things. The possibility of undertaking creative projects, to have contact with talented people, having answered this interview … there are so many things! I’m coming back to Chile in March, happy to have experienced everything that Barcelona meant to me.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson