Artist Statement

Maria Alekseev (OpticVoid)

Artist Statement

My artwork as an NYC-based abstract surrealist painter and printmaker is driven by challenges from the human body, its beauty, despair, and limitations. I delve into the darker aspects of human emotions and the complexities of self-identity and societal expectations.

I create dark images that depict scenes from my dreams and a collection of experiences and curiosities. My work, often portraits, depict haunting poised figures, with elements of the circus, patterns, vibrant colors, and surreal twists. To achieve this, I blend figurative and abstract forms, imagery from hypnopompic hallucinations, personal experiences and other conspicuous elements, resulting in pieces that are unexpected yet beautiful. Using a variety of mediums such as charcoal, watercolor, acrylics, and inks, I make large to medium-sized mixed media paintings on stretched raw canvas or paper, as well as smaller intaglio etching prints.

The elements of preserving experiences, history, costume, and traditions play a crucial role in my vision. A prominent theme in my art is the use of prisms or rainbows to symbolize the manipulation and distortion of light often found in my dreams. The circus serves as a representation for my past, present, and dreams, and allows me to examine the idea of “freaks of nature” in relation to myself. Using metaphors while leaving space for ambiguous thoughts, I choose my topics with authenticity, true to my experiences and personal stories.

Through my work, I aim to encourage viewers to confront their own fears, better understand themselves, unravel the beauty and complexity of others, make sense of irrational thoughts, while appreciating the beauty and diversity of our lives, cultures, and traditions. I invite you to explore my work, and to find the space within it for you to reflect on your own thoughts and experiences.


Maria Alekseev is an accomplished intaglio printmaker, painter and mixed media fine artist based in New York. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute and degrees in Photography and Advertising Design from F.I.T. She has also received training at The Cooper Union, The New School, and the Lower East Side Printshop. Maria has been exhibiting her work in NYC since 2001 and has shown in solo and group shows.

In addition to her fine art practice, Maria works as a teaching artist in the public schools and teaches various fine art courses and workshops to adults at a local non-profit art school and gallery. She brings a wealth of experience to her teaching, having previously worked as a graphic designer and gallery/curatorial assistant in various creative firms and art spaces.

Maria brings a wide range of fine art materials and techniques to her classes. She encourages her students to explore new tools, techniques, and diverse materials to push their work and her own work forward.