Grace from Maria Rivans
Giclee and Screen print with Spot Varnishes on Somerset Velvet
100 x 70cm
Limited Edition of 75
Maria Rivans’s first ever landscape-oriented pin-up – is a vision of elegance and sophistication. Named for Jane Fonda’s role in the hit television series Grace and Frankie, ‘Grace’ begins with a digitally enhanced image of Fonda, printed onto Canson Photo Rag 310 Paper for a smooth and flawless greyscale texture. What follows is Rivans’s response to this portrait of profound calm and serenity: a delicate collage crafted out of soft matt flowers, birds, butterflies, and beasts to represent the tapestry of Fonda’s varied life – a shining star, a political activist, an outspoken supporter of environmental, feminist and LGBTQ+ causes, and still an inspiration at 85. But this is more than a celebration of one woman: blossoming with symbolism – from the ace of spades for positivity, to a prowling lion for courage, and a unicorn for the magic of nature – Rivans’s collage captures the grace and beauty of a life lived to the full.
Maria Rivans’ eye-popping collages explore the idea of existing alternate realities and fantastical other worlds which transport us into a surreal and exciting universe. By appropriating an array of sourced vintage ephemera, Maria seeks to overwhelm us with her compositions by combining vivid and seductive colours with powerful and often humorous imagery.
Best known for her intricate surreal landscapes, pin-up portraits and 3D boxed works, the viewer often experiences a visual and sensory overload from the hundreds of carefully cut-out found elements culled from her huge collection of vintage paraphernalia.
Influenced by the extraordinary colours of Hitchcock films shown in Technicolor and sci-fi TV shows such as Land of the Giants and Planet of the Apes, these heroes from the past have been altered by combining and blending other found imagery scavenged from different eras, thus inviting the viewer into her strange and peculiar world.
Rivans’ collages have a firm running theme of vintage Hollywood films, B Movies and TV trash. The screenplays of vintage films like ‘The Birds, Mildred Pierce and Planet of the Apes’ have been rewritten and reinvented, resulting in newly collaged screen plots which intertwine throughout her body of work, spinning bizarre and dreamlike tales.
The Pin-up series has been evolving rapidly. Each individual movie star develops their own firm identity, as if they were a solid memorable character starring in one of Rivans’ invented scripts. These leading ladies have been highly influenced by strong female actors like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford who made a huge impression on Rivans when she was a child. The Pin-up characters hold qualities of women who are particularly empowered and have recently been named after famous women explorers and inventors.