August 2016

Maria Korol

I am fascinated by stories about raw human impulses: malice, envy, obsessions, sexual urgings, abuse, and also by moments of shame and vulnerability that everyone seems to have lived. The narrative impetus in my work comes from such experiences, from memory, but I also use what I hear, read or invent. Humor, spontaneity and rhythm are present in my drawings. The final aim is to tell a story in the vein of artists such as Paula Rego and Kara Walker. Using the comic strip and storyboard format, I make my characters reappear in different situations as the drawings pile up. The viewer is invited to become familiar with them, learns to decipher their thoughts and intentions through slow viewing. What seems like a simple smile may turn into a charged and complex sneer after careful observation of the interactions and events illustrated in the drawing.

I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States as an adult. I grew up a girl in a sexist culture, in a Jewish family during and after a chauvinistic murderous dictatorship. My experience as an immigrant fuels my ideas and perceptions. Immigrants are often pushed into a helpless and awkward state because of the possible inadequacy of their language, social behavior, and financial situation. I am interested in the sensitivity of the immigrant as well as in the emotions she brings about on the people that surround her. As Edward Said puts it in Culture and Imperialism: “Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.”

Artist’s Bio

María Korol was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1980 and moved to the United States in 2004. Her former education in classic and modern dance shifted to an interest in the visual arts while studying at the University of California, Irvine. Since then, she has shown her paintings and drawings nationally and internationally in places as far afield as Bogotá and New York. She holds a Master in Fine Arts in painting and drawing from Indiana University, Bloomington, where she taught drawing, two-dimensional design and color theory classes. She taught drawing in Florence, Italy for six weeks in the summer of 2014, and at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Design last year. She is currently Assistant Professor of Art and Gallery Director at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. She is a fellowship recipient with the Akademie der Kunste for the 2016 residency in Berlin, Germany, and will be the Visiting Artist and Painting Professor at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia for the 2016-17 academic year.

Learn more about Maria Korol