Photo by Art Saint Louis

Mara Cressey is a Missouri-based artist with a BFA in Figurative Studies from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. She works mainly in oil paint, combining a childhood tendency to create characters with conceptual ideas relating to unexpected duality, feminine expectation, and an ambiguous sense of self.

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Artist Statement

I sometimes find myself riddled with unexpected anxiety and regret in social situations; I overthink the interactions that occur, wish I had come across as more clever or articulate, and wonder if I’ve said something that might affect others’ opinions of me. In my practice, I aim to create a space for and display a less awkward, more assured version of myself; one that is accurate and true but seldom at the surface. In doing this, I am constructing an alter ego that emerges at unforeseen times and manifests itself permanently within my work. I compose pieces in which honest, “stream of consciousness” thoughts, actions, and ideas can be freely yet consciously exhibited through figurative painting, writing, and three-dimensional installation. My work is mindfully confrontational, contemporary, and nostalgic; a genuine and all-encompassing reflection of the self.