PHOTOS BY NICHOLAI GO
STORY BY CAROLINE ORR
MAYA'S SHOP IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. PLEASE SEE SAMPLES OF HER WORK BELOW.
F*ckery is Maya Mason’s inspiration as of late.
Born from a persistent critique she receives, she explains, “everyone has been saying ‘You know Maya you’re f*ckin’ weird… I mean you’re a really funny girl, so why is your art so serious?’”
Her response? Short and simple, “What about f*ckery? What if I just start f*ckin’ around?” And so she did. Strewn around what she describes in Freudian terms as her “anal expulsive” workspace are bits and pieces of faces. Silly faces. Crazy faces. With double chins and crossed eyes, red noses and protruding tongues, Maya’s most recent painting project resembles your most embarrassing Snapchat selfies reanimated through paint with the type of heft and sculpture characteristic of artists like Jenny Saville, one of Maya’s favorites. And while that may seem hard to imagine, the result is enchanting. Exemplifying her fascination with abstraction and the human form, her study in f*ckin’ around, while massively outrageous, is still somehow representative of her more serious, but equally charming, work.
Born into a family of artists, Maya credits much of her motivation to her upbringing. Her mother a public sculptor by profession and her father an abstract painter, Maya was surrounded by their work since before she can remember. It wasn’t until her house amazed her elementary school classmates that she realized the uniqueness of her situation, remarking, “I guess I kinda lived in a museum”. However, she is clear when she explains: art was never something that was forced onto her. For Maya, it was simply impossible to be in conversation with these objects of art and not want to create for herself.
Printmaking, a newer medium for Maya, has allowed her to feed her desire for “any process where you relinquish a bit of control.” In fact, it is this natural understanding of the elements of control and her love for the process of letting them go that gives Maya’s art cohesion, no matter its tone. Less wacky than her painting endeavors, her prints utilize vivid color and whimsical abstraction to highlight Maya’s mastery of the human form.
And even in her deepest and darkest of subjects, Maya can’t help but joke. When asked if there was one thing she would like customers to know, she looked shiftily down the corridor, then whispered “I would really have to question the morality of anyone who would ever buy a piece of my art.” Immediately bursting out in laughter, she sighed “now that’s just me being ridiculous.”
See more of her work at www.mayadiablomason.com