Manuella Muerner Marioni, the Swiss painter and sculptor, has shown her artwork in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Italy. Recently the winner of the First International Leonardo da Vinci Award, her paintings and sculptures continue to gain attention and influence across the globe.
Marioni studied fine art and fashion design in at the New Art School in Zurich, but her art education did not end there. She collaborated for 7 years with her friend and mentor Niki de St. Phalle, the French artist, filmmaker, and sculptor. Together they worked in France, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States.
Marioni’s newest body of work explores the immediacy of human emotion. The series consists of thick, layered perl acrylic paint mixed directly on canvas. The utter freedom and emotion of her work is visible. Each painting has it’s own thesis, from the ode to David Bowie’s death, or commenting on the roles we all play in society that mask our own true purpose, Marioni’s work moves the viewer with her pure and genuine intentions.
Marioni states, “My intention in making art, is to express something meaningful in an aesthetically delightful way. The greatest challenge is maintaining the subjects complexity but not confusing or complicating the viewer.” When looking at her newest body of work, one connects with the distilled essence of the theme. All filters have been removed. And while the rich colors warm the viewer, the frenzied brushstrokes reveal the passion and intensity of the subject.
Sad Bowie (2016) is an ode to David Bowie’s death, the role he played in moving our society forward, and the gifts of music and performance he gave the world. His death affected Marioni intensely.
The Mask (2016) is a commentary on the mask many wear that hides deeper intentions and truths. The face or mask was painted with muted colors and has flat eyes. Behind the mask are intense heaped colors, almost bursting. Some spill onto the face, speaking to the futility of repressing these emotions and desires.
My Universe (2016) is an interesting portrayal of those that are hurt by modern industrial culture. The self-portrait in the upper right corner is accompanied by other female figures as well as mythical looking creatures. The creatures are painted in swirling movements, as if they are almost unreal, or extinct. She pleads us to consider our effect on the environment, and care for the earth instead of damaging it.
To understand these pieces it is necessary to examine her sculptures. The sculptures Marioni is most well known for are figurative and covered in mosaics of mirrors, reflecting tinkling light throughout a whole room. They encapsulate her transcendent beliefs and uplift the viewer into a higher frequency universe. The viewer and the light of the room become part of the artwork, and their image is reflected out in various forms through these sculptures.
In Marioni’s recent series of paintings, she has stepped back from reflecting the viewer, and instead chooses to express her own beliefs in pure unadulterated form. Her truths shock us with their grace and simplicity. Marioni comes to us humbly with her own emotions, her own truths, and we are deeply moved, because they are pleasing the visual senses.
– Farrell Mason, NY Arts