Maria Jose Rodriguez Larrain - Peru

“What is the meaning of my existence? What is my purpose on earth? Art gives meaning to my life; and helps me answer deep questions that have hunted me forever. Since I was a child I was drawn to express myself through the arts, be it in music, writing or painting. I have always had the need to create and realized early on that this was the most noble way of being. Becoming an artist was not a decision I made consciously. I reached a point in my life where I didn’t have a choice. I had to create in order to survive, to find meaning to my everyday life."

I am mainly a self taught artist. I have taken drawing and painting courses throughout all my life, in the art school "Corriente Alterna" (Lima, Peru), and "L'école Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts" (Paris, France). In spite of these studies, I find the greatest lessons through observation, exploration and contemplation. When I paint, the universe talks to me and I obey. In every line, in every painting trace, I hear a voice that tells me the truth.

I graduated with a degree in Business administration from Pacifico University, Lima, Peru, and specialized in Marketing. After working two years in an office - I had enough. Life made me pause. I decided to listen to my inner voice. It was then that I decided to take a sabbatical. I wanted to search the meaning of these questions that have been hunting since childhood. I reached a wakening moment and since then I have not stopped painting.

In 2014, after quitting my business life, I spent nearly 14 months overseas. I did not have plans to be away for so long. I just lived one day at a time. First, I went to Brazil, where I worked as a teacher in an orphanage, then to Paris, where I continued painting and taking art courses while working as a waitress. Soon after Paris I went to Southeast Asia to discover Indonesia, Thailand, Lao and Camboya. In all these travels I captured the essence of every country through drawings and watercolors of the places and persons I encountered (art that I could carry in my back bag). I ended up living in Thailand, in Chiang Mai, where I had my first solo exhibition as an artist: "Connecting Souls", in Rumpueng Art Space Gallery.

After this long journey, given I had 80 pounds of paintings to carry, I came back to my hometown, Lima, where I did my second solo exhibition at the Indigo Gallery in Lima, Peru, also inspired by these self searching voyages.

In 2016, I went back to Paris, my favorite city in the whole world, to keep studying and to get inspired by new places, new souls, and new parts of me. Today I am back in Lima studying to become an Expressive Art Therapist, so I can help others to get to know and transform themselves through art.

As time goes by I have realized that this self searching journey will never end so I will continue to create."

Maria Jose Rodriguez Larrain