The mighty, looming ships in Maria Martha Pichel's acrylic paintings are stately and mysterious. Positioned in hauntingly vacant seascapes, these mechanical giants appear to voyage to or from a world of ominous, salient dreams. Pichel’s ability to harness the uncanny nature of her spaces and the stark grandeur of her subjects elevate these works to emotional portraits that speak of emotionality, decay, and the imminent passage of time.
Based in Argentina, Pichel is greatly inspired by a nearby shipyard, one of the first ports in Buenos Aires. She observes the deterioration and aging ships as having “a special beauty” far from the conventional. She expertly expresses this beauty in her works without sacrificing any of the melancholy and subtle surrealism, pouring her own poetic nature onto the canvas and sometimes wood.
Pichel studied art in the 1970s and became a full-time professional artist in 1996. She has donated her paintings or the profits from sales to a variety of charities including Greenpeace, Live for Children, and to homeless aid. In her spare time, she writes fiction and scuba dives.