Currently exhibiting in Galerie Chloé Salgado in Paris are the beautiful ethereal creations of artist Maria Szakats. Drawing inspiration from European medieval tapestries, her “Mon seul désir” series represents an intersection between thought-provoking artistry, AI conceptualising technology, and the punctilious attention to detail demanded of embroidered craft. Formerly a fashion designer, Szkats has transfigured her talents, her command of material and texture, into creating a sublime series with dedicated painstaking labour inherent in this pursuit, where every purposeful, methodical stitch slowly aggregates to form composition.
Szakats’ embroidered canvasses reflect a harmony with the natural world, not just in subject of flora and fauna, where people are notably absent, but with our perception of it. We see moments in motion, not artificial stills, in the arresting effect of the meticulously brushed mohair material. Here, the static art object is infused and animated with pulsating moving colour, drawing us into a realm where colour frays, melts, and merges, becoming almost liquid and escaping the confinement of line. It invites us to meditate on the rigid distinctions we oft make between ourselves and our environment.
In this work, the juxtaposition of means and materials matters; the AI-generated compositions made in mili moments are measured against the time-consuming efforts of traditional hand-made mohair embroidered craft. We are compelled to consider this contrast, our relationship to art, its conceptualisation as it changes and responds to new technology, and how we fuse and accommodate the modern with the traditional.
Szakats’ deft and deliberate blending of these seemingly disparate elements not only navigates the divide but draws them together, at once illuminating a new avenue of artistic expression and reconciling it with artistic heritage. Mark Cunial