Maria Calandra was born in London in 1976 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In her paintings Calandra explores natural landscapes with vibrant paletes and gestural shapes. Inspired by her wonderings in the wild, she translates into canvas the colors reflected on water, the twisting of tree trunks and roots, the repeating lines and organic structures of nature: “Channeling a stream of consciousness, I pull from both the real and imagined while using a form of automatic painting to guide me. I try to make connections between that which I observed and that which I remember. Some of these memories date back to my youth.” The result are paintings dense with detail, purposefully lacking depth, to which one’s eyesight needs to adjust, as if it were in the woods.
In her graphite drawings, made in connection to the ongoing project Pencil in the Studio, she depicts the studios and artworks of her contemporaries and the places these and other works exist beyond the studio: museums, galleries, artists’ homes, and collectors’ walls. Acting like a portrait and homage to not only her historical influences and the institutes they exist in, but also to the work of her contemporary peers. Calandra holds an MFA in Painting from Cornell University, and a BFA in Painting from Ohio University.