Maria Berrio is a mixed media Colombian artist residing in Brooklyn, New York. Berrio’s works, large in scale and comprised of diversely sourced patterned papers and images, depict re-appropriated stories that blur biographical memory with lush paradises and beings found in South American folklore.
These surrealist narratives are emphasized by Berrio’s choice of materials: rare imports of patterned Japanese, Thai, and Nepalese decorative papers. Each subject, ranging from mythical to biographical figures, are composed of these carefully sourced materials, with each fiber of their fiction meticulously placed and painted on canvas so as to further blur associations between origin and destination: butterflies are made of flowers and flowers are made of butterflies. Further, since such materials are limitedly available for purchase, their transient nature infuses each piece with an ethereal impermanence. Thusly, each work invites the viewer to savor each piece of paper carefully tucked away in her subjects: for it could be their only token to enter into each of the mythical possibilities Berrio’s cannons may suggest. These dichotomies between real and imagined, vastness and limitation, color Berrio’s surrealist works with a beautiful, bittersweet aura.
Maria Berrio received her BFA at Parsons School of Design and MFA at the School for Visual Arts. Nationally, she has presented her work in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City and Miami. Berrio has also displayed her work internationally in Korea, India, Colombia, and London. Berrio is represented by Praxis International Gallery in New York.