Mary Shah – 2023

Primary Medium



Bechdel Project
252 Green St apt 3
Brooklyn, 11222

Artist Statement

My paintings are visual poems. I use both oil paint and watercolor to weave visceral, internal landscapes. My work is process and subconscious-driven but also constructed the way a poem/ haiku/ piece of music is; just as each word or note follows the other, each mark or shape builds on what came before and guides what comes next, working within the inherent rhythm. Oftentimes, paintings come to me fully formed, in terms of feeling, overall composition and color palette. The natural world and the spiritual world become more interconnected for me as time passes and the theme of universal connection, which transcends verbal communication, manifests in my paintings as light, color, air, clouds, aviary forms, aerial views and swirling movement. When I paint, I feel like I am writing a letter to someone but also depicting my heart or mind as plain as day, sending out homing signals for those who understand to also feel that echo and send the ping back. Art, in its various forms, provides that beautiful function for me- it serves as a beacon and a message, which communicates how connected we are in this human experience; that we are not alone in marveling at the same things, like golden hour light, clouds, music, the touch of someone, the loss of a loved one, the way they revisit us in other forms, the certainty and the mystery. In viewing the world in dichotomies such as life and death, movement and stillness, turbulence and grace, my work seeks to create a balance and equality within each apparent opposition- that each is an opportunity for learning and growth. By depicting seemingly disparate concepts, which mirror the complexities that all living things face, regardless of background, heritage or circumstance, my work speaks to the fundamental qualities and experiences that make us all equal, that we all share in this human existence. And by painting these feelings and experiences that we all share, I hope to create a sense of ease and peace and an antidote to despair.


Instagram: @mmaryshah