Maria Cohen is a UK-based multidisciplinary artist who graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with an MA in Fine Art Painting in 2021. Her work explores the topics of sexuality and identity through diverse forms of media and currently focusing on digital drawing based on layering multiple images one on top of another with the vibrant repetitive pattering rabbits to represent both alter-ego and a symbolic image of humanity. Maria’s studies at UAL was supported by Art Ambassador Awards, and she was involved in the development of a curatorial project at the Copeland Gallery in London 2021.
In 2022, Maria curated the regroup Collective exhibition “Intimacy” at the Fitzrovia Gallery and collaborated with Urban Outfitters. She also participated in a collective exhibition in Basel supported by Voices of Culture in the summer of 2022 and her work was selected for exhibition at the South London Gallery 2021 and London Grads 2021 at the Saatchi Gallery.
As of February 2023, Maria curated a solo show ‘Zero Gravity’ in Basel, Switzerland, which was supported by the Voskhod Gallery.
The main objective of my research is to speculate about sexuality through process, as a way of producing art to express sexual energy as pain, anger, or anxiety. Feminism informs my identity as a woman; the politics of this allows me to be free to explore sexuality in my practice which is in itself the function of legacy.
I am exploring sexuality through my own identity. I approach my practice as an experience, a physical and almost performative moment: every piece of art, every artistic gesture, or a manifest is a way to overcome embarrassment to accept vulnerability, weakness, and fragility. Through the practice, I am unfolding my sexual identity with pain, anxiety, and frustrations. I am coming across boundaries and traps which I have been a part of for years because of my Russian and Jewish background. The process leads me to look fear in the eye to be aware of the voice through anxiety and frustrations and acknowledge my power, hidden deeper inside the body. Repetitions and symbolism are saving energy, balancing, and controlling emotional and rational parts of me. The image of the bunny serves as my alter-ego and represents the ambiguity of human nature. I deform it, making it more comprehensive or the opposite: confusing, like a sound or an invisible vibration. Within the layers, I unfold sexuality and push struggles out of my body with blots, strikes, and erasures. Resulting in an expressionistic graffiti like vibrant painting. Through the practice, I identify myself as a woman, neither only on a social role and status and responsibilities, but also as a citizen, a daughter or a wife and as an artist or a human being who wishes to express feelings through many tools and meanings.