Mariah Ferrari’s practice explores themes surrounding fabricated sentience and the capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively.
She depicts the sensation of touch through disembodied hands, allowing the viewer to focus on this singular sense. Hyperreal colour and lighting bring the figures to life, enhancing the plausibility of the environment whilst bringing its utter absurdness to the viewer’s attention.
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Water saturates both the figure and the ground, highlighting the still surface of water before submergence.
As Ferrari explains, water provides “opportune moments for painting, such as highlight, shadow, and brush variety”. The figure interacts through playful touch and slippery movements, contained in a dreamlike state. This challenges our perception of sentience both in actuality and simulation, “centering the viewer’s focus on touch and its concealed qualities brings attention to the sensory event of being alive”.
“Unreal colour, light, and water bring the figure’s ground to life, creating an environment enveloped in sensory information,” explains Ferrari. “Colour and light create a layer of content in visual touch, as colours appear soft or hard, smooth or rough, immediate or still.”
Sweet Orange Scab
About the Artist
Mariah Ferrari (b. 1996, USA) is a contemporary visual artist based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2019. Ferrari’s work has been shown in several exhibitions across the US and in The Netherlands, London and Belgium as well as publications including Art Maze Magazine, Spring Edition Issue 12, New American Paintings, No. 149 Midwest Issue and Friend of the Artist, Volume 12.
Milwaukee Women's Center
Founded in 1980, the Milwaukee Women’s Center provides comprehensive services and treatment for women, men, and children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence, addiction, mental health issues, homelessness and poverty.