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Marissa Magdalena - Contemporary Art With Unconventional Materials

By Maria Densley

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Every town has some bad things and some goods things about them. Though Marissa Magdelena, now living in L.A. sometimes gets flack for being from Bakersfield, CA she states, "I will defend its honor to my grave. There is no place I would rather hail from."


Marissa first decided to be an artist when she was trying to dodge an adult's question. She was in a waiting area of a doctors office when an adult saw her working on a Shira Paint with Water Book and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.  As a four year she didn't feel like explaining her deep passion to be a farmer, so she simply said an artist. From that moment her little dreams began to grow. She attended Otis College of Art and Design and recieved her  BFA. According to Marissa the reason she now does art is, "because I have no choice. Or I do, I just don't fancy the other options near as much!"




Marissa's inspriation comes from many sources. One of the biggest sources of inspiration is the Muppets. She has a framed picture of Jim Henson in her art studio.  She also says, "Inspiration comes from magazine clippings, my dog, dirty exhaust, pretty make up and the shape of garbage... It pours from speakers and sounds Queen, Goldfrapp, Janet Jackson and Dolly Parton. Inspiration is in my past, it is in my closet."

 
Making what some would consider garbage beautiful was an evident talent in her most recent show "Quince, Quince." Using the traditional quincenera celebration to set the mood, Marissa showed family, friends, and colleges some of her favorite pieces. From wall art, to walking art, to backdrop art, her peices were unique and well designed. She states,"'Quince Quince' was my whack at self-aggrandizement, reaching for balance by literally dangling on the edge."




I asked what her favorite materials were to use. Her response was, "My favorite materials had past lives they need to be reformed from! I like to use common relatable objects as an invitation for the viewer to dig deeper. The familiarity of an object/material generally contrasts with its new shape or foreign circomstance. This subversion causes the onlooker to question and now they have a malleable perspective for me to sculpt! So maybe my favorite material is actually minds."


If you'd like to get ahold of Marissa, or see her work, she keeps her contact information updated here on her website.  Of course if you in the market for a dress made out of paper bags and matches she'd be happy to sell her's or make a unique design just for you. Does she have plans for a future show, "Always. Too many plans, not enough lifespan."

Wedding Dress made from receipts





Published on May 06, 2013

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