Marisa Sayler

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We'll Meet Halfway
Quick Facts
Los Angeles, CA
Atlanta College of Art, 2005, BFA, painting
Cal State University, Fullerton, 2008, MFA, drawing and painting

I inspect mythology, faith, science, evolution and the interpretive power of imagination using the medium of drawing. My aims in artmaking are to invent an entire universe of worlds. Some are nebulous, some completely alien, some beautiful, and some dangerous, but all are analogous to human existence. I draw creatures and landscapes inspired by reptiles, germs, squid and insects. These beings are referenced not only because they are visually interesting, but because they are also creatures who have existed for much longer than humans and provide for me a scientific access point to the "beginning" of creation. Traditional Biblical explanations of creation are also considered as visual and conceptual inspiration.

My favorite authors, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle, offer glimpses of other worlds by providing journeys that are not entirely unparallel to earthly existence. Most of their stories were written for children, yet contained storylines that embraced death and redemption, featured quests for salvation, time travelled through the cosmos, and graphically illustrated the creation and destruction of worlds. At the heart of these stories was an assurance that I am not the only one who is both terrified and attracted to the contradictions of existence. Humor, tragedy, violence and merriment are inherent in most momentous occasions in life and it is with these sentiments that I approached this body of work.

In my invented worlds, death translates to rebirth and a new beginning. The landscapes and creatures imagined are ostensibly animalistic, however, they are representative of humans. I try to create human images that are not already loaded with reference or reminiscent of specific art historical movements. Abstracted, anthropomorphic forms more accurately accomplish my goal of creating a new visual narrative about death, life and the afterlife.

I seek to amplify my voice within the dialogue of contemporary drawing. The act of drawing in itself is both delicate and heavily physical. In this realm, I use the medium to reconcile science with faith and tangible reality with fantasy to create new narratives correspondent to the human condition.