“Every time I go to a zoo, which is as often as possible, I am fascinated by the plastic animal masks sold in the gift shops. Not only do they make great photos when worn by whatever friends I’ve managed to convince to come with me, but even on the wall, they are compelling. They could be creepy, I suppose, with their empty, vacant eye sockets and repeated stacks and shelves forming a crowd of uninterested but perpetually-staring faces. But to me, they are charming in the way that all un-intentionally profound things are.” —Maria
Maria Lux is a third-year MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in studio art. Her background is in traditional painting and drawing techniques, as well as in graphic design, but her work has shifted to more installation-based pieces that include drawings and paintings as well as found or fabricated objects, models, diagrams, and text. “The change in approach has allowed me to explore lots of different facets of the same issue, and I like making work that highlights the kinds of tensions I mentioned above with regard to zoos.” In her practice, drawing and painting are ways of thinking about and understanding ideas or objects. Sometimes that exploration stops with a stand-alone image, like those shown here, and other times they find their way into larger collections of things to create dialogue between the parts.
You can find more of Maria’s work at her website http://marialuxart.wordpress.com/