Maria Vasconcelos, born in Lisbon, Portugal, now lives and works in New York. She received a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. While Maria was at the San Francisco Art Institute, she received the Graduate Merit Fellowship Award in 2001, the Schmidt Fellowship Award in 2002 and the Honorable Mention MFA Painting Award in 2003. She was also the recipient of The Headlands Center for the Arts MFA Residency Award in 2003. Her work has been exhibited at Modulo-Centro Difusor de Arte Gallery in Lisbon, Portugal, and was included in the Traveling Scholars Group Show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Vasconcelos’ work has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, Expresso newspaper (Portugal), Artweek and Portuguese based magazines: Attitude and Lux.
My work explores text, acronyms and colloquial expressions that are representative of various cultures that I am familiar with. I am especially interested in examining the chaos that occurs when acquiring a new language. I am fascinated by both the sound and meaning of certain words. Through the meticulous process of reproducing words, I personalize them.
Text is used repetitively in my work, causing the words to become illegible. The continuous pattern I employ is often insistent and abstract, similar to the process of learning a new language. Repetition and color are meant to emphasize the words physical presence. A mantra like experience begins to materialize as the words blend into one another, creating a new rhythm and meaning.