Interview with Maria Gigova Wasserfaller

Hello Maria! Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become an artist?


I have been drawing since I was a child, what inspired me to take this path was the animated film ‘’The Lion King’’. When I first saw the film back then in 1994 as a seven-year-old girl, I was mesmerized by Simba's incredible story, the beauty of the drawings and the breathtaking music. 


At the age of 18 I graduated from the National School of Applied Arts (2006) in Sofia.  After that I completed my studies at the Faculty of Applied Arts at the National Art Academy (2010) in Sofia, where the world-famous packaging artist Christo (including wrapping the German Reichstag in Berlin, June 24, 1995) studied. In 2021 I was admitted to the Master's program in Fine Arts and Aesthetic Education at the University of Regensburg.


2010-2019 I was an artist and designer in Bayreuth, where I had several solo exhibitions as well as professional designs of countless projects, including in collaboration with Walt Disney. I’m also an Art lecturer at several VHS in Bavaria.


Where does your new painting begin?


In Altötting- small town in Lower Bavaria. The town in the Inn-Salzach-Region has been world-famous as a place of pilgrimage for more than 500 years and is one of the "Shrines of Europe", an association of the most important European Marian pilgrimage sites. The goal of countless pilgrims and visitors is the "Black Madonna" in the octagon of the Chapel of Grace.


You create unique, colorful portraits of famous personalities. Why are you interested in this particular topic? What determines the choice of personalities in your works?


The 12 well-known and unknown idols of humanity chosen here are intended to awaken the viewer's memory that their special qualities - such as youth, age, imagination, intelligence, resilience, courage, creativity, patience, the ability to suffer, team spirit and others - are manifestations of extraordinary represent talents on earth. Using this for the greater community and not just for oneself alone could represent the true meaning of life.


Just imagine, for example, what the world would be like today if, as a child, Michael Jackson had said to himself ‘’Netflix and chill, there's no point in doing anything else’’? 


Cooperation for the good of all, not indifference, would be the key to success. Could the emergence of special abilities and outstanding talents in eight billion people be understood as a manifestation of divinity in the best sense of the word?

There is a certain color scheme in your works, dominated by black, white and gold colors. Why did you choose these colors? Do you think these colors somehow affect the viewer and his perception of your works?


For the Homo Deus series (12+1), I used the "birch technique" I devised myself with a conscious reduction to three essential primary colors - black / white / gold:


Black... like the infinite depths of the universe,

White... like the radiant light illuminating the darkness, human worship of all things divine.


Impressionist strokes in acrylic are reminiscent of autumnal birch leaves in gold, of their smooth bark in white and of branches or cracks in the tree's bark in black. The symbolism of the birch as a tree of love, life and happiness as well as its special meaning for light, spring and new beginnings inspired me in the creation and pictorial realization of the paintings


Is there any message in your works? What thoughts should they evoke in the viewer’s mind? What is the Maria Gigova-Wasserfaller artist trying to tell us in her works?


After three difficult years of the pandemic, the ensuing war in Ukraine and the noticeable insecurity of people with social tendencies towards division in a world of rapidly developing technologies with vague questions and still very insufficient answers about artificial intelligence (AI), my thoughts started to creep in the origin, the meaning of life again into focus. But not only the political and social situation inspired this project. Last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis, which makes my desire for a child very difficult or almost impossible, that made me think about life and these particular topics- and I put all these feelings in my biggest  abstract painting with the name ‘’The  beginning of life’’ ( Big bang, human ovum, the circle of life and God as a golden center ).


Would the meaning of life for the individual be better explained, better felt and better understood through a possible god of religions? Or is turning to Google as “universal reality & source of truth” sufficient in our knowledge society to give the individual and society as a whole adequate recognition of their existence? Divinity behind everything could give man something special, even unique. He/She/It would no longer be a coincidence of matter, but a creator willed intention with a mission behind it.


Tell us about your creative plans in the future.


My husband and I have written two children's books „Das große Buch geheimer Tierbotschaften’’ Band 1 & 2 ("The Big Book of Secret Animal Messages" Volumes 1 & 2). The paintings inside are original artworks from me from 2015 until 2022. The first one, it’s about the situations in life that we can change, and the second, those that we cannot change. 38 Animals with their beauty, strength and wisdom give us valuable advice on how to go through such situations. Publishing the book and reaching as many children as possible to help them walk happy, boldly and confidently through life is the next big project I have ahead of me.