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Kooness

Maya Mercer


United States

18 Works exhibited on Kooness

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Maya Mercer is a Franco-American photographer and video-creator. Daughter of the radical English dramatist, playwright, and screenwriter David Mercer, Maya grew up between London, Paris, and Los Angeles. Self-taught as a visual artist, Mercer has always lived in a narrative world, experiencing “life as theater” from early childhood. 

She calls herself a regionalist “photocinema” artist. Mercer now lives and works in Northern California where she directs mostly teenagers in visual stories inspired by the social conditions of the rural American Far West. Her work has been shown in galleries, museum exhibitions and art fairs throughout North America and Europe.

"Mercer has become an adopted daughter of the Wild West. Living as she does in the interior of California, that vast and varied state, a country within a country, has its grip on her entire consciousness. She finds it a First World within a First World — and a Third World within a Third World as well. Mercer’s subjects are young, beautiful, tragic and playful, and strangely removed from time even as they reflect contemporary stresses and historic memories. While her art echoes the decadence of late-19th century precursors, however, it also looks ahead to a new, perilous age of sensuality, confusion, and encroaching dystopia. In this regard Maya Mercer is less hedonist than oracle, less Salome than Cassandra. Her work is no indulgence; it is a warning.”

- Peter Frank