Art Statement

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I studied at The National School of Fine Arts "Prilidiano Pueyrredón". After experimenting with different media, such as engraving and sculpture, I specialized in painting and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985. Continuing my studies at the Ohio State University, I focused on literature and its relationship to the visual arts. I graduated in 1995 with a doctorate in comparative literature and art.

Ever since I started painting, art has become an indispensable part of my life. Each time I pick up a brush I initiate a dialogue with my inner self. Through this process I always come back enriched as a more complete individual. Like many other women artist my art illustrates feminist concerns, such as the search for matrilineal roots and the dilemma of the woman artist whose inherited models and myths undermine her self-esteem.

The issue of who and what determines the female cannon of beauty in our society and how deeply this male construct affects women in different ways also preoccupies me. In many of my paintings I challenge the way in which women have been perceived through the centuries offering my own female perspective and deconstructing patriarchal images. As Maureen Murdock writes in her book The Heroine's Journey: "Women do have a quest at this time in our culture. It is the quest to fully embrace their feminine nature, learning how to value themselves as women and to heal the deep wound of the feminine". Through art I embrace this quest. Many of my painting function as a journal. They tell stories of personal and cultural transformation, of fear and hope. Through the characters of my paintings- all symbolic equivalents of myself - I explore the themes of metamorphosis, growth and change. Along this inner journey, along this nocturnal and solitary wandering, art becomes my guiding light, a light that shows me the path to my true self and to spiritual freedom. As Judith Duerk says, "To discover who she is, a woman must descend into her own depths.[…] To discover who she is, a woman must trust the places of darkness where she can meet her own deepest nature and give it voice… weaving the threads of her life into a fabric to be named and given… sharing it with the women around her as she comes to a true and certain sense of herself".

I hope you accompany me on my journey.

Maria Alejandra Zanetta