Copyright 2016. MARIA MIJARES. All Rights Reserved. 

Once that the human figure had made return debut into my work, what next? I blindly sought situations: waiters, journalists, a transvestite show. I was lost all over the place! I would look for the philosophers of our day—for men of substance.


The themes of my paintings often require an elaborate protocol to earn access to the subject. No bowl-o-cherries, in the case of the Catholic priesthood. 

Decades ago I started upon a sort of pilgrimage to explore the parallel of the mystic art-life to the priesthood and the relationship of artist to subject, and subject to audience. I had no previous prejudice.

I thought I was following the thread in my content to research the culture of my heritage when tipped off about a priest from Spain at a local church.  I approached the priest with my sudden strong desire to paint about him. He didn't like the idea. For the first six months I was interrogated by his superior, persecuted, and asked to abort the first (innocent) unseen painting. Persevering I prevailed to be embraced by Bishops, presented to Cardinals, able to see the Pope in Spain, and fraternally welcomed in many an unlikely scene. I had to cultivate the privileged peephole. A long way from Backstage-Bob Dylan-Days, but not so very different.

It was absolutely  “A Man’s World” yet I survived the gauntlets—including blows at the hands of non-clerical women.  Steadfast, I eventually  ’got in’ earning respect from the top down. From that world I bring about forty paintings filling my studio at varying degrees of completion. The paintings represent a visual outline for an unfolding narrative shaped and played out “By the Mystery of Faith.” 

I was drawn in by my perception of integrity. One finds what one looks for. My inclinations are quixotic—whether looking at a decaying building or elegant treasure. Finding beauty in every subject from the commonplace to blight, visual context is philosophy, then theory gives way to faith.

Going ‘Behind the Seens’ to a reality stretched to the edge— just short of falling off, I stoke the source for deeper mysteries from the fire within. In the caves of my ancestral Altamira, the artist was the priest.

Art is, and has always been, a sacred endeavor.