Maria Torffield – Artist Review In today’s world it is rare to come upon a person with a Renaissance spirit who is truly concerned with humankind. Maria Torffield is such a person. News events, injustice towards women, and abuse of the environment are just a few examples of what propels her work. As a highly sensitive artist she translates her concerns and her agonies into beautifully haunting, disturbing, and mind-provoking artistic creations. Her repertoire is astonishing. It ranges from photographs, drawings and paintings, over ceramic and bronze sculptures to gallery installations. Maria pushes herself to her limits and with boundless energy rises to new self-imposed challenges. After the events of 9/11, she designed a monument to the victims of her adopted home-town New York. Thus far, she had been working with miniature bronzes and room-size installations. This monument called for a magnitude Maria had not yet experienced. Instead of leaving the task to others, she began to study architectural methods. She designed a monument, ultimately chosen as one of five among two thousand unsolicited proposals that were discussed in the New York Post. She also participated with a second proposal in the official international competition. When Maria learned that women all over the world are still subjected to genital mutilation, her outrage made her unwilling to look away. After 5 years of involvement she presented a highly acclaimed and provocative installation in New York incorporating the full spectrum of artistic media. In her most recent installation, “Face-Lift”, Maria turned her attention to western society, and with humor and deep concern commented on female beauty and the trap that standardized beauty ideals create for women today. Water? How many of us would think of water as a world problem or as a topic for art? The piece in this show, “Blue Gold” or “Water Rush” illustrates an environmental issue that gets little media attention. Maria’s installation exploits repetition and associative symbolism. Thin sheets of paper with blue imagery (photos of water) undulate gracefully from the ceiling to the floor like a cascading waterfall: A playful display that appears to be a celebration of beauty and form. On closer view, the picture changes: Water, one of the world’s most precious resources, is controlled by western world mega industries to benefit the wealthy at the expense of native populations, in particular women in third world countries. Maria conveys the magnitude of this world-wide problem, using photographs and text to illuminate the abuse. Maria never distances herself from her work. All of her art reflect a deep involvement with her subject. The immediacy of Maria’s installations agitates viewers and draws them into human problems that seemed far from our daily reality. Maria’s art is a visual expression of the full spectrum of the human experience. Her work is contemporary in its content, yet is rooted deeply in artistic tradition. Maria fulfills the highest standards of careful design, classical composition and meticulous execution. If we take the time to look at her work – this and any other – we will come away changed by her art.