Faced with a lack of studio space after graduating from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Michelle Maroon shifted her artistic focus from sculpting to painting. Her current work, which she posts to Instagram on @michellemaroon, is an “expressive and emotive series of layers and colors” that create a three dimensional space through “transparency and fluidity.” Now based out of a studio space in Rockland, the 28-year-old spoke with the Globe about current projects and future plans to bring sculpture back into her work.
Q. On your website it says that you’re working on something that investigates the distribution of energy between body, mind, and universe. Can you unpack that for me?
A. What I’m trying to explore in my work right now is sort of how everything in life combines and, you know, being a serial over-thinker, I’m really meditating on the little things that keep popping up and how that affects me as a person inwardly and outwardly and sort of has guided me on the path of my life at this point.
Q. What work has come out of this so far?
A. So far what the work I’m finding is manifesting as sort of what I see when my eyes close. You know, the way that the layers of how I’m feeling overlap and where the colors take me. And so it’s really, in that mediative sense, I get myself into this rhythm of thinking about one situation or an interaction or something that’s really affecting me and just sitting with that, writing about it, and then sort of letting my body and my hands and the colors of the paint sort of like guide how I’m feeling, I guess, and that’s where the work sort of just shows up for me.
Q. And what have you discovered so far in terms of your art and also in terms of yourself?
A. Basically I think I discovered that I have a lot of anxiety. A lot of anxiety and especially in a social media age I think there’s this serious pressure to be cool or interesting to people. And maybe I’m just a person and I’m just trying to live a life that is correct for me and not necessarily for everyone else. I have a lot of anxiety surrounding social media, mostly because I want to be authentic and genuine and not put forth anything that’s, you know, just for show. I don’t want to be curating necessarily what people see, even though, like, how can you not do that? I want to be authentically sharing my memory and what I’m experiencing and what I’m feeling and existing.
Q. Knowing that about yourself, what made you decide to start sharing your work on Instagram in the first place?
A. I think it was because after graduating college, you know I went to art school, and leaving that community, I have the people in my life I’m still close with and share the work with, but in a broader sense being on and sharing online is creating that sense of community again. Obviously on a global level instead of something so refined and individualized.
Q. You did sculpture in college, so how did you come to your current medium?
A. At first because I didn’t have the space to make 3-D work anymore. After school I didn’t have a studio space, so I started working two dimensionally because I was just working with what I had. And now it’s become sort of a challenge for me to try to think and see and create three dimensionally in two dimensions. But I’m also in the process of starting to make 3-D work again that interacts with the paintings. So I’m really excited for this sort of next step. I think what I’m going to end up working towards is sort of having the paintings in a layman's term be a backdrop, like a stage set sort of for sculptural work that will sit in front of it or near it and they’ll interact with each other. So that’s sort of where I’m moving, so I think what all of this has done is sort of, and like I was talking about before, you know what I see when I close my eyes, that’s sort of like the backdrop — and now I’m going to create the objects to live within it. So hopefully that will pan out. As soon as I feel comfortable with that work I’ll definitely be posting it on Instagram.