7 January 2024

For a Walk

Anonymous figures wander through
Maria Kostareva’s atmospheric paintings


by Kate Mothes

“A city does not exist without its inhabitants,” says Maria Kostareva, whose enigmatic compositions in oil portray liminal moments as figures move through urban and domestic spaces. “Place is revealed in its entirety only in interaction with a person. And in my works, I try to convey this synthesis of human existence and architecture, where one inextricably relies on the other.”

Often expressionless with minimal features, people greet or pass one another in the street, relax together, or move into the distance toward unknown destinations. “I am not interested in specific events, but rather in the space between them,” Kostareva says. Evocative of memories or dreams in which details blur, any narrative remains intentionally ambiguous, and we’re invited to imagine where the figures are headed and who they are. She adds, “It is important for me to leave the image open enough so that the viewer has the opportunity of personal experience, as if those images are echoes of his own impressions.”

See more on the artist’s website and Instagram.

The Walk, 2023. Oil on canvas, 110 x 90 centimeters
The Bridge, 2021. Oil on canvas, 150 x 170 centimeters
Summer Night, 2023. Oil on canvas, 90 x 90 centimeters
Spectator, 2023. Oil on canvas, 90 x 110 centimeters
Sunflowers, 2022. Oil on canvas, 150 x 180 centimeters
Equilibirum, 2023. Oil on canvas, 90 x 90 centimeters
Waiting, 2023. Oil on canvas, 50 x 70 centimeters

All images © Maria Kostareva

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