BFA 2020: Maria Speck


Maria Speck, Feeding the Dodo Bird, 2019. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 4.5 ft. x4.5 ft. Courtesy of the artist © Maria Speck


Image of a young woman, head and shoulders visible, with white skin and light hair with a hat trimmed in white fur, beneath a neon sign that says Stay Weird.
Maria Speck, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.
Maria Speck
University of Illinois
BFA Class of 2020

To celebrate graduating seniors in the School of Art + Design Class of 2020, Krannert Art Museum is sharing their work.

Maria Speck | Painting

Artist's Statement

I make paintings that function as a form of social criticism, reflecting on human nature and the shifting conditions of the real.

These artworks depict the building of worlds. They form narrative spaces that attempt to connect innocence with the fantastical, making use of literary devices and images of specific objects like rubber ducks, big noses and eyes, rivers and water, manipulated bodies, and unblinking birds.

These images both reinforce and re-examine existing connotations as well as make satirical observations of the human experience.

As I have grown older my narratives have become tainted by the patterns of thought and the toxic events of the real world, including the extra-ordinary forces of materialism and consumerism, and their connections to wasted time, loneliness, temptation, and guilt.

In the end, I view this work not as an escape, but as productive space for considering what it means to live on this planet.


Artist's Portfolio