Amanda Quinn Olivar: To begin with... why do you make art?
María Berrío: I make art first and foremost because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. It’s a joy and a pleasure to create, but it’s also a compulsion; I begin to feel anxious if I’ve been away from painting for too long. If tomorrow everyone decides they are bored silly by the things I make and have moved on, I’ll still continue to make art. It is my own attempt to unveil the mysteries and beauty of our world, to explore and touch the unseen.
Colombian-born, New York-based Berrio explores hope and longing in immigrant identity in her latest works featuring female figures and birds in slightly surreal landscapes. Combining paper collage and watercolours to create chimeric forms, the animal and human protagonists of her paintings are at once delicate and densely layered—a reflection of emotional durability under duress. This marks her first solo show on the West Coast, but Berrio’s work can also be seen in Victoria Miro’s London show examining women, labour and migration.