Maria Kostareva was born in small village in the Kalininskaya region of USSR, but from the age of 17 has lived and worked in Moscow, Russia. Moving from a rural area to the city greatly influenced the formation of the artist’s aesthetic viewpoint. Being an outside observer, she formed her own understanding of the position of people within urban spaces and was able to focus her art practice on making those mundane spaces and actions of daily urban experiences the subjects of her work. Even casual passers-by of Moscow’s many underpasses secure a place in her memory as bearers of meaning.
In an attempt to cope with the hectic pace of a big city, Maria strives for mindfulness through capturing and bringing to life those images that we normally endure only for a short while. She seeks harmony between humankind and urban architecture, similar to the unity with nature. The composition of her artworks is based on the principle of an accidental photo. The figures appear on the canvas, just as they would to a human eye, only partly. The images do not unfold into a narrative: they are nothing but the moments appropriated from eternity.
Maria uses contrasting elements to convey the pulsation of his endless dance the figures and the space are engaged in: forming a single whole one moment, taking distance from each other the next. Maria does not draw from nature and the entire work has been done from memory. “This way I ensure that the forms, having been appropriated and in a way transformed by my memory, have become my own,” she says.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts History (Moscow State University of Arts named after Surikov) and a Master of Visual Culture Program (National Research University, Higher School of Economics).