Marianna Kiraly

These encaustic works are inspired by social isolation, vulnerability of the human body and the feelings tied to an uncertain future.​ My art practice is a personal process that explores innate fears, the line between the real and virtual world, identifying hypocrisy, distinguishing between “us” and “them”, and exploring the limits of imagination.

I am a scientist by profession and the inner conflict between my scientific thinking and my emotional world is expressed through Surrealism. I enjoy discovering new exciting ways for self-expression via layering the encaustic medium, sculpting, playing with melting temperatures, opacity, color fusion and depth. My curious nature has led me to continue expanding my palette of artistic tricks – most of which I learn by my own experimental innovations such as the inclusion of magnets, the diffusion of powder pigments and colored sand.

The scholar in me understands that life sciences define humans as predictable machines operated by neurotransmitters and hormones, programmed to survive and pass on genes. As an artist, my encaustic studio is my sanctuary where I can escape from this crude reality, embrace my fragile biological existence, and feel emotionally connected.

My intention is to invite viewers to gaze deeply within their consciousness and hearts. When you “slide to unlock” on your phone, what do you *really* unlock? Does it open the door to someone else’s world, or is it only the illusion of a real connection? What exactly is the difference between speaking our own mind, and saying what we think society would want to hear from us? Are our everyday battles truly worth fighting, or is the resolution of our own cognitive dissonance the key to inner peace? When is it a good time to take a step back and examine our own responsibility in a conflict, make peace with our opponents, and help each other create a better world?​

A number of the pieces were included in the Abrams Claghorn Gallery in July, 2020. The two sculptures (‘Popping Dante’s Bubble’ and ‘Help!’) are results of collaborative efforts between Marianna and Stanford PhD student and wood sculptor, Vince Pane.

Check out Marianna’s Instagram for more artwork and to read about the stories behind each art piece!

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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