By Taroue Brooks
Marryam Moma is an Atlanta-based interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis on collage art.
Tell us about your style.
I am Visual Artist with a current core focus on hand cut collage art. I work within an organic, minimalist, and subtractive design process. Deconstructing images and then re-integrating many pieces to create something completely new, is an intuitive and ongoing visual experiment where color, texture, shape and space come into play. I employ the use of other mixed media: acrylic paint, ink, gold leaf and watercolor in some cases. The result is layered, fresh and textured.
What happened that let you know that your art can earn you money?
In 2015, I designed a fashion capsule collection called SUPERWOMAN, in Abuja Nigeria where I hung my art for sale, for the very first time. The response was very positive, and I sold a number of pieces there.
What inspires you to create?
I am inspired to create by love, adversity, revolution, fashion, music, and art or inspiration could come from something as simple as an evocative piece of paper. As an artist, I believe myself and my peers have a calling to reflect the times we live in as well.
To date, what is your favorite creation and why?
I am yet to make my favorite piece of art – it’s the one in my mind’s eye, yet to be put to paper. It will be the best one yet!
How different is the art world since you have been working with ZuCot Gallery?
I started working with Zucot Gallery since April 2019. It has been a year and 3 months. Considering our current collective circumstances, between the pandemic and the international protests against social injustice, racism and police brutality, we are in a whole new world. Specifically, in terms of art, the manner in which we create and collaborate as artists has changed. Additionally, galleries are finding new and innovative ways to display and sell artists works virtually. A great example is annual exhibit I participate in, Articulate ATL, held at Mason Fine Art. This year, it is virtual and opens August 1st, 2020, online.
What has been your most memorable compliment/reaction about your art?
Just today, Kristie Benson, Communications and Marketing Executive at The High Museum of Art shared on social media that she remembers the first time she saw my artwork. She said, “I loved the attention to detail, the ability to create meaning and texture from different layers. Her work is beautiful.”
How has the pandemic impacted you creating art?
The inability to connect and be in community to with artists and art in physical spaces has affected my art. While I am able to view art and enjoy it virtually and also connect with others in virtual space, it’s not the same as a physical experience. Thus, people, spaces, dialogs, exchanges that may have inspired me previously are just no longer available at this time with the pandemic.
Where would you like for your career to be in the next five years?
I would love my career to be on the world stage, to be sold locally, nationally, and internationally. I also envision working on a much largely scale within public spaces and collaborating with other artists. I would love to also participate in more international art fellowships, residences, and programming. A good example here is Kehinde Wileys Artist Residency Black Rock Senegal. I would also like to have created a compilation of all my collages to date, in a beautifully designed book.
Tanzanian-Nigerian Marryam Moma is an Atlanta-based interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis on collage art. Marryam holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Tyler School of Art, at Temple University in Philadelphia. Marryam’s formal studies at Tyler, informs her design decisions around light, color, texture, and balance within her compositions. Frank Lloyd Wright, Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson and Mickalene Thomas influence her principal style and creative delivery.
Moma is intrigued with using collage as a medium to examine themes of faith and higher consciousness, societal issues, while celebrating the human form and reinforcing ideas about individuality and self-love. The clarity, discipline, and execution of her work in the collage medium reflects applied strengths from a formal education in architecture.
Collaging melds the palette of re-purposed pieces together into fresh, layered imagery with new associations and meanings that subliminally engage the subconscious. The process of deconstructing images and then re-integrating many pieces to create something completely new, is an intuitive and ongoing visual experiment where color, texture, shape and space come into play.
More recently, you will find Moma’s collages in the Starbucks permanent art collection, within their Jonesboro, GA store. Moma has also exhibited in Kai Lin Art Gallery, Zucot Gallery, Mason Fine Art, Facet Gallery, MINT Gallery and Notch 8 Gallery, Atlanta GA and at PRIZM Art Fair during Miami Art Basel 2019. You can also find several of her pieces within Bright House Media Company and Legacy Studios Estate Law Firm. She has exhibited internationally in Abuja, Nigeria and Daresalaam, Tanzania. It is Marryam’s long term intention to create an art platform focused on reaching children in under-served communities to stimulate and encourage artistic expression.
MOMA ARTIST STATEMENT:
At the core of my art practice, I aim to empower and uplift the black body, especially the black female body. Unveiling the magic within this race of people breaks collective contemporary stereotypes. Thus, changing attitudes and perceptions of black women, allowing society to discover her beauty and value, and to appreciate and celebrate her. My collages are focused on elevating the importance of the black experience and the black body, while committing to the exploration of the space where spirituality, higher consciousness, gender, race, and sexuality intersect.
Each collage begins with a premise. It is sometimes inspired by treasured memories, history, societal views or simply an evocative piece of paper. Emboldened by the study of architecture, nature, fashion, music, and culture, I create collages within a rigorous subtractive process that is layered, detailed, and textured raw and earthy yet minimalist.
Like a mystery, the composition evolves one piece at a time. I continue to edit and employ possible elements and media to complete the composition. Designing ultimately melds the palette of recycled pieces together into fresh, layered imagery with new associations and meanings that invite the viewer to take inventory of their thoughts and give way to alternative thought.
It is my intention to change the dynamics of how the black body is viewed in a society that is divisive versus inclusive. My work raises awareness that sparks discussions around traveling back into the higher self through racial reconciliation and gender equality. I ultimately hope to create a space in which the black body is celebrated.
Websites where you can find my work and Current Social Media Handles:
- Art Cloud: within Zucot Gallery
- www.mintatl.org : Summer Invitational
- www.kailinart.com : CreateHer Virtual Exhibit
- www.articulateatl.com : Online Virtual Exhibit opening August 1, 2020