Maria Photinakis is a painter and illustrator exploring fictional, abstract and autobiographical narratives. Her paintings are primarily in oil, and illustrations in ink or made digitally. She is based in the greater Boston area.
Personal statement: I grew up in a big Greek-American community and was mesmerized by the Byzantine iconography that surrounded me in my culture’s traditions. These icons were heavily visually stylized and designed to convey story and meaning without depending on text. The visual narratives and conventions of those icons still influence my work today. As I went through school, I also devoted a great deal of my studies French language and culture, as well as Japanese language and traditional puppet theater (bunraku).
I grew up in an immigrant household and have spent a lot of my life studying language and culture, both my family’s own and others. Common themes throughout much of my work relate to identity, how we choose to self-define, and how cultural heritage can be both a source of strength or a burden.
I was a member of the fantastic Mad Oyster Studios in Somerville for two years and have participated in a number of Boston-area art shows as well as Somerville Open Studios. I now work out of my home studio in the Watch City — Waltham, Massachusetts.