Maryjean Viano Crowe creates mixed media three-dimensional works that have a strong physical presence, achieved by the bountiful accumulation of textured papers, plastic toys, and flea market flotsam encrusted in the work. Layer upon layer creates an opulent surface, engaging the viewer to look more closely. Within the work, Viano Crowe explores the house as a sacred vessel that holds histories–sometimes visible, but often not.
Regardless of the format she uses, representations of the female figure typically perform on the various stages Maryjean creates for them. Cloistered within their own private universes, her subjects’ expressions seldom reveal more than subtle hints about their actual inner selves. Orbiting the background, often structured in the style of manuscript illuminations, is a complex planetary arrangement of fanciful ephemera from birds to insects, to flora and fauna, visually suggesting an extension of the central figures’ intricate, emotional worlds.