Maria Stroka

Maria Stroka

Producer in Los Angeles, California

About Maria

"In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn’t know what (being an artist) meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different from the one that I was” Jasper Jones

Born to melancholic, paranoid and in many ways absent parents who were highly affected by the weight of communism in post Second World War Poland, I was their difficult only-child with an overactive imagination.
I was 13 when it became obvious to me that I am an ‘artist’.

Attracted by the aesthetic and the philosophy I declared to be ‘Punk’, I was creating artwork for music festivals, styling bands, and participating in political performances in the time when political and economic changes were dawning upon Eastern Europe.

Later, I completed first of its kind in post communist Poland, Advertising Diploma Course.
We talked about how the mind works and how it can be changed… it was about selling a product, but this experience formed the basis for my long term interest in human perception.

After graduating, I worked with local sculptor, Midas, creating copper medieval-style signs for shops in Mikolow (my home town). This project aimed to remodel the center of this old market town to reflect its rich and long history (first chronicled in the year 1222). During this project I have learnt old blacksmithing techniques and as a result I have became fascinated by the concept of ‘alchemy’.

In 1989 I made the move to London, UK and quickly became part of a vibrant group of artists, musicians and activists. Year later, I was accepted by Central Saint Martins Collage of Art and Design to study on a Foundation course, which led to a three-year Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking and Photomedia under Mike Peel (https://www.flyingleaps.co.uk/michael-peels-modern-world/), David Gluck (https://www.theguardian.com/news/2007/apr/13/guardianobituaries.artsobit...) and Ann-Marie Lequesne (https://museumofnonvisibleart.com/interviews/ann-marie-lequesne/), among others.
During the five years in Central St Martins my work and research gained complexity. I focused conceptually on work dealing with layers in perception. My work was informed by a range of sources, from myths to technology and from old masters to video gaming. I expanded my palette to include photography and computer generated images. I began mixing these with traditional printmaking techniques like etching.

I also started to collaborate with artist Helen Chadwick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Chadwick). I felt, that we had an extraordinary rapport. She had a great influence on my early work and she gave me the gift of confidence in my ideas. Unfortunately Helen died suddenly only few months in to our relationship.

Despite this painful loss I carried on with my work and education by accepting a place on a Master’s Degree course in London’s prestigious Royal Collage of Art under professor Tim Mara (https://www.flowersgallery.com/artists/view/tim-mara) and after his unexpected death, professor Chris Orr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Orr). I have graduated in 1998.

I consider myself to be a Fine Artist working across mediums concentrating on landscape as metaphor to the internal experience. The visual alchemy I use aims to brings light into form through highly cognitive operations of observation, self-reflection and applied reconstruction.
My conceptual approach rests in the idea that the procedure - the act of assembling, scraping, etching, juxtaposing - is as integral to the final image itself in order to create the emotional reflection imbued by the chosen subject.
The visual language used is influenced heavily by the structuralist concept of binary oppositions - light and shadow, seductive with repulsive, time within the still image. Contradictions juxtaposed to create meaning. Likewise, the 'horizon line' exists to signify the boundaries of experience and limits of the universe 'known' to an individual.

For over a decade now I have also been involved in the feature film post- production while continuing with my photographic work.

I currently live and work Venice, California.


Name: Maria Stroka

Lives in: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Producer

Unique traits: creative and logical

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Maria's Profile Statistics

  • Since: August 2011
  • Last online: > 2 weeks ago
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Bradley Stearn
Matthias Wiemann
Dan McRae
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