Sunday, August 13, 2017

Maria Esperanza Diaz: (English version)

A Colombian Painting Extraterrestrial Australian Gods

By RoxanaRojas-Luzon


Proofread by Judith Levine

One day, more than ten years ago, Maria Esperanza Diaz learned of the existence of the Wandjina, and from then on she began to illustrate them in small sketchbooks and to paint them in large acrylics. Thanks to one of the Wandjina she managed to enter the United States. She constantly dreams of them. And she's never been to Australia.

The Wandjina are mythological characters of the Australian Aborigines who painted their images on the walls of certain caves in Australia. Australia is 20 hours by plane from Maryland in United States, where Maria Esperanza has lived for five years now.

To MariaE, as she prefers to be called, people always tell her that the things she does in her life do not make sense. But she still does what she likes. From Colombia, her native country, she immigrated to Panama, where she lived for 12 years, to continue her art studies. In Panama she began to paint Wandjinas and from there she came with them to the United States, or maybe they brought her here. She came to exhibit her pictures, but at the airport in Miami they were confiscated because they were too big and heavy. Standing in front of the customs officer without Wandjinas, she managed to convince him that she was an artist and that she was bringing them to an art exhibition. Thanks to a single photo of one of her Wandjina paintings on her cell phone, she was able to come to the USA. Her enormous canvases did not arrive in time for the exhibition, but her daughter brought them later, rolled up.

Although her illustrated books on Wandjina have not been published, she continues to write them by hand into notebooks and illustrate them, with good humor. Dozens of her paintings have been exhibited in this country through exhibitions by the Latino Art League of Greater Washington DC, and of course, she has sold some. "My art is figurative realism because there is evidence that the Australian Aborigines saw and lived with the Wandjina, there are fossils and cave paintings that prove that." says Maria E.
Her spirit is adventurous, like that of the Wandjina who supposedly were 
in this world in a passing way. And she does not regret anything. She once quit a lucrative job "…because I decided to live on art by painting miniatures, but it did not work." Before the Wandjina, she presented for her thesis an exhibition at the University of Panama titled Eroticism of the Landscape, "…and they censored some pictures, called them porn. The news reached the media, and the expo was a hit, it was filled totally. This included television interviews and all that! "

Maria wants to say through her paintings, "…that there are legends and that artists can explore and exploit them, ... no matter if they are real or fantasy, to feed our senses." The artist says about her work, "My art is fun and a little crazy in the good sense of the word, because I skip the rules and do what I want and how I want. I just let myself go by my sensitivity and intuition. I break a little with what is beautiful and perfect ... "

Maria now draws Wandjina in her sketchbooks, she no longer has space or time to paint large canvases. She works as a stylist in a beauty salon where her artistic talent focuses on beautifying her clients by arranging their hair. She sends money to her family in Colombia, to help them. Her daughter is an adult; she lives in Panama and visits her periodically. She also writes poems and has just published her Poemario, a book that took 10 years to write and two years to get a publisher to agree to publish it. Her poems and songs have nothing to do with gods or aliens. She writes about love and her feelings.

She finalizes “The most difficult thing to continue being an artist is to maintain consistency, not to faint in the face of adversity, to maintain faith in one’s self, to believe the story of being an artist, to ignore bad criticism and people who mock our work and our lifestyle.”

To see more about artist MariaE, see this video: 

No comments:

Post a Comment