Oil on canvas
150 x 160 cm

Maria Who

Maria Who (Vorobeva), a Lisbon-based artist, paints with a visceral touch, her work “Heaviness” an ode to soulful vitality. Her figures, rendered with oil on canvas, bear the rawness of human sensitivity, stripped to their essence. Maria’s artistry is a dance of color and texture, where dreamlike figures embody spirit movement. She intertwines painting with performance, creating a cycle where art lives, breathes, and reincarnates, reflecting life’s perpetual flow.

Composing the special narrative of people acting in art and an idea of soul vitality, I create dreamy, wondering, motion and very real in it’s imperfection, thought not realistic, images of people. I aim to find life of the soul and senses in painting, and to find and understand our influence on the creative process of each other during co-creation. I direct artistic experiences and search for visual images of spirit movement, working with different mediums, including painting and performance.

My personages are barefoot, naked, which symbolises highly sensitivity. I’m interpreting paintings as clothes for the naked senses. I am thrilled by color and texture as a body of material in oil painting. With different textures, such as free strokes, transparent drips and expressive heavy smears of paint I am trying to express the complexity of the feeling in figurative paintings. Color and powerful poetry of light are the key words in my artistic language.

Feeling of involvement to the paintings leads me to interact with them after creation through performance. So that dreaming or making art characters created in my paintings become personagens of the theatrical, sometimes narrative or memory-based performance, and than continue to live on in another painting. This process of reincarnation of characters together with the birth of new ones is similar to life going continuously.

– Maria Who (Vorobeva)


The "Salon de Refusées" is an art initiative inspired by the historic 1863 Paris exhibition. It's a platform celebrating female (read) artists who've faced rejection, turning exclusion into empowerment. Our project is dedicated to showcasing art in its most authentic form, creating a space where diverse voices and stories are seen and revered. Join us in this artistic uprising, where each piece adds to our resilience and the unyielding spirit of creativity.