This week we welcome Maya Varadaraj, an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in painting and collage. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and went on to earn a master’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Varadaraj’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Vitra Design Museum, the India Art Fair, Sapar Contemporary, Disseny Hub Barcelona, Nature Morte, Salone De Mobile, Mana Contemporary, and Medium Tings among others.
She has been featured in numerous publications, including Artnet, Juxtapoz, Platform Magazine, and We Make Money Not Art. She is also included in Phaidon’s book Vitamin C+: Collage in Contemporary Art.
“As a South Asian woman raised in a Hindu household, my work serves as a simultaneous documentation and analysis of the history of my family across borders and generations, as well as the positioning of my personal experiences in the greater survey of Indian womanhood. Intensely intimate and rooted in Eastern philosophy, my work explores both the pain and joy of womanhood, and the belief systems that can be used to better understand those critically tied to being a woman,” she writes.
“Working primarily within the detailed histories of my ancestors, I mine family photographs, selecting images that act as potential catalysts for my present lived experiences. My parents as children, a survey of female family members both known and unknown, relatives both dead and living—these figures act as characters in my work, removed from their original settings and repositioned in search of new and additional meanings. They are often conflated and situated in liminal spaces that appear more as loose memories than reflections of reality, inviting conversations and personal interpretations by the viewer.”