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Art HERstory: Marta Maria Pérez Bravo


Photo of the amazing Marta Maria Pérez Bravo

Photo of the amazing Marta Maria Pérez Bravo

Imagine Times Square. Late night. All the colors of the fluorescent lights fighting for your attention. To capture people’s attention, we usually use colors. We’ve become accustomed to exaggerating things with color and decoration to make them more appealing. Walt Whitman once said “simplicity is the glory of expression.” I agree wholeheartedly. In my opinion, bright colors are sometimes used to blind us from seeing what lies beneath the bedazzle. Marta Maria Pérez Bravo understood Whitman, and used his theory to her advantage. She let her work speak for itself, no color necessary.

"Llamando" (Calling). I think this photo is my favorite. Looks like Maria is in the process of regurgitating a telephone.

"Llamando" (Calling). I think this photo is my favorite. Looks like Maria is in the process of regurgitating a telephone.

Maria was born in Havana, Cuba in 1959. Her passion for art was apparent for the beginning. She studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte and at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts, both in Havana. She earned her degree from San Alejandro Academy in 1979.

"No me dejen sola” (They dont leave me alone).  From the title of the piece, I think its safe to assume that "they" are the ones holding the ends of the ropes attatched to the subject's neck. They are the puppeteers to her marionette.

"No me dejen sola” (They dont leave me alone). From the title of the piece, I think its safe to assume that "they" are the ones holding the ends of the ropes attatched to the subject's neck. They are the puppeteers to her marionette.

The majority of Maria’s work is in classic black and white. She chooses the vessel of photography to express her religious and cultural beliefs. Maria is a deep believer in Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion that revolves around the idea that the divine appears in all things, alive or dead. This belief is obvious in her work because the photographs are simplistic and feature Maria accompanied by everyday objects such as rope, sheets, nails, dirt, and paint.

"Memories of Our Baby.” Extremely moving and personal piece. Yes, those are figures of children latching onto Maria's eyelids.

"Memories of Our Baby.” Extremely moving and personal piece. Yes, those are figures of children latching onto Maria's eyelids.

People worldwide easily see the beauty in Maria’s work and have an immense respect for her strong spiritual background. Her first international exhibition was in 1988 when she displayed her work at the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. Since then, Maria’s work has been viewed in Australia, Germany, Hungary, Cuba, Turkey, South Korea, Venezuela, Canada, Denmark, and the United States. Maria definitely has quite a few stamps on her passport, that’s for sure!

"No More Heart." Perfect title. How can there be any heart (caring) left under all those nails (pain)?

"No More Heart." Perfect title. How can there be any heart (caring) left under all those nails (pain)?

Maria lived in Havana until 1995. She then chose to relocate to Monterry, Mexico where she currently lives with her family.

Image Layout: Phaymiss


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