Self-taught artist Maria Beck has always been fascinated by mythology and folklore, feeling that they are the magical stories on which culture is built. “Self-taught is the new avant-garde,” the artist says. She is interested in the ways in which women are influenced by the cultures they grow up in, and creates paintings that explore ideas of feminism, the modern woman and the sacredness of women’s bodies.
“I believe that no woman or girl should be ashamed of her vagina and that we are so much more than just our bodies...We are all entitled to our beliefs, whether it is the ‘modesty movement’ or the ‘Raising the Skirt’ campaign,” says Beck, referring to the social campaign aimed at female empowerment and combatting sexism. Her paintings feature emboldened women, comfortable in their bodies, surrounded by butterflies. “With these butterfly enhanced paintings, I take a morally neutral stance because butterflies have mystery and symbolism,” she says. “They represent transformation, change, hope and life.” —
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