Maria Kastan’s oil paintings maintain a love of the material, Kastan collects and deconstructs natural and manmade objects to create improvisational sculptures. Foraging in the upstate New York woodlands, deconstructing corn from the farmers market, or collecting discarded nails or plumbing supplies, she looks to transform yet allow the material to remain recognizable to the viewer.
Much of her work nods towards still life, natural, and figurative elements. The female form in a conceptual space has always been predominant in her work. The ability to change the female figure into fireflies, cocktails and armadas lend to the concept that the person cannot be fully seen at one time. The metamorphosis of our mind-body, over time, down to the cellular level is in constant flux—a part of us is living and dying at the same time. As cocktails and fireflies, the figure seems contained in the glass, yet perhaps is free behind the glass.
Kastan has shown her work nationally and internationally. Invited to show in the Arad Biennial, her work is also a part of the permanent collection at MIDAC Museum, Italy, the Brooklyn College, CUNY Library, and The Brooklyn Art Library.
Kastan was born in Brooklyn, New York with yearly block parties and feeding all the stray cats in the neighborhood. Spending summers as a youth traveling cross country, her work is very much informed by natural wonders and early museum visits. Kastan currently lives and works in New York.