Brooklyn based artist Maya Suess’ newest series of drawings titled The Extras, is a fragmented archive that illustrates a set of characters who exist outside of organized society in an unspecified future dystopia. Following a small group of survivalist women as they enact the rituals of subsistence, the series brings to the fore questions of community and solidarity. Composed like specimen studies, each drawing is a depiction of a character, tool or scenario that exists in this imagined world; no single drawing presents a complete tableau, but instead offers a glimpse of the mythological milieu of the Extras.
As in all archaeologies, the Extras implies a history where the full narrative can never be recuperated. Carefully rendered in colored pencil against a stark white background in a space absent of structure, the elements of culture become reshaped, from what objects surround us to how we engage with each other. Consciously referencing the disciplines of illustration, scientific field observations, and graphic novels, each piece suggests a specimen belonging to a larger whole. The large scale of the drawings ultimately bring the work in line with the monumentality of portrait painting -inviting viewers into a larger-than-life fiction.
Maya Suess, makes drawings, installations, videos, performances and other mischievous entities. Her work describes the experience of individual bodies as they navigate a tactile, constructed and sometimes mythical environment. She has exhibited work extensively in the US, Canada and internationally. She holds a BFA in Media Arts from Emily Carr Institute, and an MFA in contemporary performance from Simon Fraser University. Born on a small island off the coast of western Canada, today she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.