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AS IS | Maria Kostareva


From Tver, Russia

Based in Moscow, Russia

We interviewed inspiring Maria Kostareva, whose works are a study of human behavior and relationships conveyed through figurative abstraction and color interplay. She shared with us her impressive journey, views on art, and many more!

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

M: As a child, I visited an art school. My mother painted well, too. I always wanted to be an artist, but I grew up in a small village and it was hard for me to believe that that was possible. For several years I tried to combine my art practice with a designer career at a publishing house in Moscow. It wasn't easy, but after a while, I finally quit my regular job and since then, I have been a full-time artist. In the end, the most important thing was to give myself permission to call myself an artist. When I started introducing myself to new people like that, I got the confidence that it was true.

A: What inspires you the most?

M: I’m inspired by life in its smallest details. I believe that life is built not around ‘big’ events, but in our daily interactions.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?

M: I make sure to work in a calm state, so sometimes I meditate before I begin. I also often paint to music, right now it is Race to Space.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

M: Be curious and open-minded.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

M: Open, saturated, vital.

A: The best angle to look at art is...?

M: ...from your heart.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art?

M: Why does it touch you? What do you feel when you look at this piece?

A: Must-read books to talk about art (or do we even need them)?

M: I think it all starts with looking anyway, but there are some amazing books that can help you start looking deeper into art.

My favorites:

Manet and the Object of Painting by Michel Foucault,

Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation by Gilles Deleuze,

The Great Image Has No Form, or On the Nonobject through Painting by François Jullien.

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

M: Any changes have unpredictable consequences, so I would leave everything as it is.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)

M: "Of course, it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

Thank you!

For more: visit or IG


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