We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariana Peirano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariana, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“I thought I would be understood without words.” – Vincent Van Gogh This quote reflects how I feel about my art. I’m an introvert and so it’s not easy for me to express my feelings. The process of creating art fills a void, a need; it becomes a healing process and the final product mirrors those feelings. At the same time , due to the subjective nature of art , the viewer will take from the art what it’s relevant to her.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I decided to start painting again as a form of release and self-reflection in 2013. I chose portraits, women portraits, to reflect my own feelings and emotions. I used pastels and acrylics for a while but once I started using oils, I didn’t stop. I wrote poems to go along with my paintings to help me express that which I couldn’t.
I had my first solo show in 2014. That show, Revelations, was a series of portraits that reflected my personal inner journey. Mostly oils that show included some mixed media and acrylics. One of the elements included in many of the paintings was a butterfly. Butterflies at that time meant change and transformation. The promotion poster was full of them and so the butterfly became my signature. Although I continue to paint mostly portraits, I have moved to include more fantasy elements putting them in the category of magical realism. I continue to use oils but recently, I also started a series of graphite on wood pieces and charcoal drawings.
My new paintings are now focused on the theme of climate change. Growing up in Argentina, I had heard many songs and poems about Pachamama, Mother Earth. It wasn’t until these last few years that her name has come to mean so much to me. Climate change is now widespread, seems to intensify each year and some of the damage we have caused is now irreversible.
The indigenous people of the Andes revered Pachamama as a goddess. She was Earth Mother to the Incas. Still today many indigenous peoples in South America base environmental concerns in these ancient beliefs, saying that problems arise when people take too much from nature because they are taking too much from Pachamama. Indigenous knowledge is crucial for the environment. According to Amnesty international although they comprise only 5% of the world’s population, Indigenous Peoples safeguard 80% of the planet’s biodiversity.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As an introvert I don’t like to go out as much. I’m more comfortable eating at home. I love cooking and baking so when I do entertain I like to prepare a nice meal. I grew up by the ocean so I love the beach. Sunbathing and swimming in the ocean are my favorites, although as I get older I have to watch the sun exposure. In 2017 I moved to Ojai and fell in love with nature. The trees inspired me and motivated me. I enjoy hiking and generally being in nature.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many friends who over the years have been of tremendous support for me. These women were there when I wasn’t sure of myself and gave me the encouragement to make my art public. In addition the Buenaventura Art Association, where I had my first solo exhibit, helped me gain the confidence to see myself as a professional artist. And the Ojai Studio Artists, which I’ve been a member of since 2017, continues to support and inspire me.
But I couldn’t leave out the main reason I’m an artist today, my husband. He motivated me to leave my job and pursue my art career.