TheLovers 2, 2015

Take a look at the striking works of ethereally enlightened Colombian artist Maria Berrio, a wonderful creator whose vivid imagination stretches beyond paper and paint, into a world of her own imagining. She presents an energetic and charming yet coolly organic universe in her multidimensional works of art; using a mix of decorative papers from Japan, Thailand and Nepal as well as watercolor paints, she successfully melds separate figures and shapes in cohesive completion. To this end, her work could be categorized as surrealism or “magical realism”, though ultimately she is capturing moments from a version of reality that blooms from her fertile imagination. In her own words:

“A lot of my work is autobiographical…it could be about me, or my time in the world and how I am feeling or what I am imagining. Of course, it also relates to other people and other things too, to imaginary beings, to ecology, to magical realism, to surrealism too, but at the same time [it] is always me.”

East of the sun, West of the moon, 2016

Pulling themes from nature, humanity and the intermingling therein, the mostly female figures presented in her works emanate strength and realness with a deep sense of presence that invites the viewer to relax into the scenery right along with them. If you look closely, each work is uniquely intricate while perfectly aligned, adding up to impressively sized portraits that capture the same emotional impact from far away, even in a spacious gallery.

The most recent exhibition, “A Cloud’s Roots“, visits families in splendidly unremarkable moments, grasped in time and laid out for the ordinary viewer to see. Watch Berrio’s language of love speak through images grasped from a culture seemingly quite far from her own, yet innately similar in their humanness. Take a look and see if you resonate too:

Genipa, 2019
Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas
60 × 72 in
152.4 × 182.9 cm

Flower Mirror Water Moon, 2019
Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas
72 × 60 in
182.9 × 152.4 cm

The Paradise of Others, 2019
Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas
92 × 118 in
233.7 × 299.7 cm

Anemochory, 2019
Japanese paper and watercolor paint on canvas
77 × 120 in
195.6 × 304.8 cm