Kara Maria

Born: 1968

Hometown: Binghamton, NY

Lives and Works: San Francisco, CA


Education: MFA, Art Practice, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
BA, Art Practice, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

Kara Maria Bio

About The Artist

Kara Maria's work, which she describes as "cheerfully apocalyptic," is inspired by current events, including environmental catastrophes and political crises, as well as the influence of these occurrences on popular culture. Charged political issues, such as the atrocities that occurred during the Kosovo War, are addressed using pornographic images of sexuality and war combined together in patterns that suggest order amidst chaos. Her paintings are at first glance abstract, but on a second look reveal a myriad of figurative references. Maria manages to imbue gravity into a Pop Art aesthetic, which has made her a rising star on the art market.

The recipient of a Masterminds Grant from SF Weekly, Artadia Award and Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley, Maria lives and works in San Francisco.

Kara Maria Interview

Artist Q&A

1. What's your idea of a dream home or holiday?
My dream home would include a huge painting studio - with a high ceiling and skylights, lots of wall space, etc. For my dream holiday I would travel to one of the places I have always wanted to go to, but haven't gotten to yet: India, Egypt, Thailand...
2. Who are your favorite artists?
Cecily Brown, Fiona Rae and Jenny Saville. All painters. All British.
3. What's your hidden talent?
I play several instruments (flute, clarinet, piano) - I used to be a musician, before I began painting. I also cook a lot. I follow a vegan diet, and I enjoy converting conventional recipes into healthier versions.
4. What's your guilty pleasure?
Television! What Not To Wear, Kitchen Nightmares, The Dog Whisperer, HBO/Showtime series, Netflix...you get the idea. We have lots of cable channels, so there is almost always something on that I can stand to watch.
5. If not yourself, who would you want to be?
Perhaps Picasso - he seemed to have a good time...

Kara Maria Gallery Art


Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Kara Maria Permanent Collections

Select Permanent Collections

De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA
King County Public Art Collection, Seattle, WA
Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV


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