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Artist Residency 2017
Mara Colecchia | Artist in Residency | May 2017
Video taken at the Fish Factory on June 2017 as a result of my artist residency focused in the production of phallic shaped headpieces
Icelandic folk hats are so evocative and simple at the same time.
Everything started with this book about traditional fashion in Icelandic culture.
A traditional Icelandic female headpiece. It has a very interesting and quite phallic shape. I decided that this was the key inspiration point for my project.
References of phallic headpieces from the artists of the Bauhaus in Berlin. Look how everything that I selected for this project has a phallic connotation but also a traditional circus performance`s feeling. Performing arts are a fundamental iconographic source in my work with wearables and sculpture.
Sketches of the phallic headpiece
I had merging the concept of wearable art coming from the performing arts at the Bauhaus with my background in animation, and I created playful phallic shapes to fit the head.
Work in progress
Building the structure of the hat
I approach wearable art like a sculptural piece and therefore I build a skeleton, an internal structure to hold the piece.
The making of the spheres, or balls, with felted stuffing and pins.
The cock on the cock!
A playful exploration of phallic shapes rescaled and replicated like a Matryoshka doll.
this hat is self standing and therefore is a wearable sculpture. I like the hjeratic simplicity of the shilouette. And the black outline reminds me of the American design of the 50ies, which I truly love.
I called thie piece Cock-Pope Hat
Religious references in the shape and colors of this hat make it a bridge between pop and Italian rligious heritage. I had fun playing with the concept of a phallic hat that is actually a religious ornament.
People of influence wearing my art
Artist Natalia Fabia is wearing the Cock Pope Hat at the Corey Helford Gallery in DTLA
Artist Zoey Tailor is wearing the Cock Pope Hat at the Corey Helford Gallery in DTLA
Another Icelandic ancient iconographic image depicting the female fashion. Note how this character looks like a circus clown! This image inspired the sketches that follow.
Avant Garde Couture
Is Avant Garde rooted into prehistoric times?
As a designer and a visual artist, I have been witnessing the convergence of my personal experience into my artistic research; when both aligned at a point, I saw my work taking a specific direction, which is the representation of the phallic shape as a provocative extension of the female body.
In art the shape is the concept, and the concept is the shape. Louise Bourgeois used to ask herself "what is the shape of this problem?"
Well, my shape in this case is a phallus, and I approach it with respect, not willing to make fun of the matter, but aiming on the contrary to elevate it to the higher realm of artistic research.
My series of wearable art, the Cock Hats and the 3D printed nose accessories (Nose Goddess Jewel), specifically represent the phallic shape as an ornament in female garments and jewelry.
I also make an act of ideological progress, by imposing the phallic symbol to the realm of textile work (strongly representative of the ancestral baggage of feminine skills) and jewelry design (jewels have been associated since ever to female beauty and feminine seductive power).
My interest in the phallic shape takes from a personal point of view, one centered in the internal struggle to defend my female identity, and re-shape it, in the context of a misogynistic society.
This personal perspective rescales naturally into the characteristics of a whole generation of women born in the seventies, who have been encouraged to pursue the development of a man-like personality.
Most of the women of my generation were raised in a dysfunctional family, in the absence of a reliable father figure that could serve as a reference for the creation of our own nucleus, or raised by frustrated women that had experienced the disillusion of giving up their professional ambition in order to be mothers.
As a result of this trend, many of us developed a sort of externally inducted rejection of maternity, and of everything connected to the worship of the womb.
All we had always known was that we were not willing to “end up like our moms”, while at the same time, in a climate of economic recession, we could not contemplate the risk to lose our momentum in pursuing financial independence.
These two realities, one emotional and one material, have been undermining the core-confidence of intelligent women striving for equality in a society still marked by the stigma of patriarchate.
Attractive women are intended nowadays to be "manlike" females. This is the greatest paradox of my generation: we seek for equality by giving up exactly what we aim to enhance and to preserve: feminine creative power.
My role as an artist is to represent this internal conflict in a way that underlies the challenge of rethinking the human experience on earth.
Our era is challenged by the ghosts of self destructive patterns and the imminent expiration of energetic resources. A genuine respect of Mother Earth needs to be reintroduced in our system of values, if we want to survive as a species.
In prehistoric times the Great Goddess, connected with Mother Earth and her cycle of six phases (birth, growth, reproduction, decay, death and regeneration), has been worshipped through pictorial representations of a female with a generous and vast body inhabited by a number of phallic shapes *breasts, buttocks, noses, feet.
Interesting enough, before the patriarchate took over, masculine and feminine were integrated in a sacred whole, having Mother Nature as a worshipped living goddess.
Prehistoric artist used phallic shapes to describe female bodies!
This was evident in the use of a phallic shape to describe the female body; in particular wombs, buttocks and breasts would hint to a woman`s fertility, yet at the same time, due to their phallic shape, they would underline an unbreakable connection to the phallus in the reproductive cycle.
Before the advent of patriarchate and the creation of a Male God, separated from the cycles of nature, the womb was celebrated and considered as sacred as Mother Earth. Things evolved rapidly, at the point that nowadays a womb is perceived by women like a shameful baggage, a stigma of neediness and possibly a lack of financial productivity.
The need to change path is more urgent than ever, now that our species is endangered and collective awareness is rising.
As a female artist I could have chosen to represent the womb, to celebrate the sacred, creative power of feminine. I felt instead driven towards the phallic shape, and I discovered why:
- an erected penis is the bridge between masculine and feminine, because it is the tool that ignites the sacred energy of creation.
The creation of life happens in a womb, but before that very moment of explosion of creative energy, the fecundation of an egg, it exists a craving for the phallus.
In other words, an erected penis is the physical representation of the tension of creative energy to find a way in the material world, to manifest in the matter.
The miracle of incarnation of a soul into a body, the metaphysic into the physic, the ethereal into the material.... it all starts from the tension of an erection.
My use of phallic shapes in women garments is then an ironical representation of this craving for the whole:
Contemporary women can feel empowered again, just as Great Goddesses, when incorporating an erection in their bodies, when merging to the masculine without giving up their feminine.
Couture Balaclava Masks
I designed a collection of balaclava masks that unify the pop culture to the elegance of the Belle Epoque. Fringes, sequins, lapin and faux flowers embellish these 6 balaclavas designed in knit fabric.
Rising Star - MockCovers
A collection of mock covers focused on the imagery created by Maracole with her Urban Circus, werable art that she interprets with whmsical and devilish transgression.
Maracole imagines to be a living DIVA in her simulacred world where she is featured on the covers of the most popular art and fashion magazines, and she becomes testimonial of the most covated haute couture brands.
If is it true that whatever one can imagine one can manifest in her reality, we will see Maracole soon rising as a shiny star in the real world.
Just a matter of time...
Italian artist Maracole re-designs her own success, by placing herself - irreverently and playfully- on the covers of the most popular magazines of fashion, art and culture, as if she was already an icon. No better way to define her own success in the art scene, by creating a mock rising of a star.
In her simulated glamorous artistic art scene, the diva Maracole really exists, and shines of her own light. If it sounds philosophically accurate saying that reality is just a dream, then the opposite can be true as well: dreams live in the real world.
Maracole's captivation for the genre "mockumentary" finds in this project the most compelling way to showcase a potpourri of diverse skills (sculptor, fashion designer, model and info designer).
At the same time Maracole dares to make a statement about the contemporary art scene: women can only shine when they are able to demolish the constructed male centered schemes, creating their own reality with feminine charm and daring transgression.
In this perspective, Maracole is already an icon, and she's defining her presence in the contemporary art scene with her strong will to be acknowledged.
Nose Goddess - 3D printed nose jewel
In my work as an artist and a designer I am focusing on female perspective and women power. I created this piece in 2016 and at the end of the year I had it finally 3D-printed. Lilith is a pendant that can be worn on the tip of your nose, like a portion of a Venetian Mask. It then becomes a party nose, with a playful twist... In fact the shape of this jewel recalls a phallus, ironically confering a woman`s face masculine qualities.
All this with charming references to baroque ornaments among the most unusual and refined. A detail oriented design enanches the vintage look of the 3D printed material and swarowsky gems make it precious.
Lilith, a pendant with a twist!
Lilith, a pendant with a twist!
Golden Steel 3D-printed accessory for women
This is the upgraded version of the piece, that comes with more gems, in various sizes. Playing with colors make the sphere look even more sophisticated.
This is the 3D model of the piece that comes with holes to hold in place a pin, which allows the easy and safe insertion of an aroma bead in the trunk of the nose.
This pin allows the placement of an aroma bead inside the trunk, that will be releasing its scent just on the tip of your nose.
A new nose jewel is on its way. Stay tuned...
I Feel Empty - recycled couch cover
This is a recicled couch cover, hand sewn in the shape of a wig. Sequins hand sewn on the wig says "I feel empty", a statement about the ostracization of feminine in our male doomed society.
A trash couch has a value in itself, because it absorbed the energy of those who enjoyed it. In other words, a trash sofa is a remain, something that got lost, yet keeps peering through the surface.
My fascination for trashed couch covers comes from my childhood, as I was surrounded by ancient furniture and I learned how everything can be fixed, sewn together and reused.
Textile is a great medium because it can be done and undone, changed and reshaped, many times, during the process of creating a piece of art. Unlike ceramic, that is tragically and beautfully unforgiving.
Made out of a trashed couch, my giant wig is uncertainly standing, like a prehistorical animal dealing with extinction. Standing on its curly strands, my wig is a monument to the innocent beauty of Shirley Temple, mixed to the momentousness of Marie Antoinette: pompous yet superfluous, in its obvious defeat.
This piece explores the painful relationship between what we show to the outside and how we feel inside. Often the two things don't match. Sequins hand sewn on the surface of this giant wig are expressing how one can really feel inside, in contrast with the pompousness of the social sharade.
Detail of a Sequins made Letter
Detail of the inside
Notice how I reversed the fabric that I used to cover and build the inside of the wig. The medium supports the concept: inside vs outside.
Detail of the Top
Louis 17th looking like curly strands of hair create the wig-effect of this piece, unique in its kind.
A Buttoned Up Memory
I hand-built a ceramic button in a local studio.
As an Italian descendant, I imagined myself like a soldier marionette, specificallya Sicilian Pupo (traditional soldier marionette from southern Italy) leading a Chiquotesque battle armed with a button-shield and a needle-sword.
Street Art Installation *MX, 2015
I created a neo-dada art installation with ceramic, textile and iron. The piece was installed in the World Heritage city-scape of San Miguel De Allende, GTO, MX.
Buttons are tragic, emblematic presences in our life; they can open a new path or close an old one; they are a metaphor of our personal experiences, what stays with us and what we let go.
Buttoned Wall - behind the scene...
My ceramic sculpture, a striped button, represents a fantastic, whimsical relic from a domestic world of memories.
The Button Sewn on the Historical Wall
The costume was done, the purpose was found: with the support of the institution Bellas Artes, my button was “sewn” on a historical wall in San Miguel De Allende, MX.
I celebrated my deep connection with the incredible history of the town by sewing a button on its precious street walls, as a perennial memory of what has been, and what will be.
Buttons can open a path or close it...
I witnessed this button magically resonating with the environment and I myself became part of this installation, like a surreal and playful presence in a land of memories, twisted together like threads.
Let them eat cake!
This is a street art installation with ceramics and trash sofas, traveling across the most poor areas of the Los Angeles county. This installation underlines the paradox of the most civilized western societies, where the luxury of a headquarter like Beverly Hills is built on the struggle of the citizens that live for instance in Compton.
"My Party Hats are wearable ceramic accessories, and they are symbols of a festival of illusion (illusion of happiness and momentousness). If grouped, they can tell a story, like performing actors that transform into real protagonists of our social life. It is as if the costume takes over the human body, turning out to be more alive than the person."
Ceramic Party Hats on trashed sofa
Let Them Eat Cake!
This installation underlines the paradox of the most civilized western societies, where luxury and trash often coexist.
The idea for "Let Them Eat Cake" generated during my years in Los Angeles, when I was exposed to the scenario of wasteland of this consumerist western society.
I placed glossy ceramic sculptures (party hats) on trashed couches founded in the street, and I transformed them into a playful experience.
These trashed sofas I witnessed abandoned by the sidewalks all over the L.A. County, at times prestigious objects of interior design, at time relics of family memories and Ikea sales.
A couch can be a symbol of the mother/home, a womb, a place of consolation, creation and recreation. My party hats brought those abandoned couches back to life.
These trashed couches absorbed the energy of those who enjoyed them. In other words, a trash sofa is a remain, something that got lost, yet keeps peering through the surface.
“Art is a guaranty of sanity”.
In Italy we tend to have big noses, and this is a genetic factor, one can’t change it. They even made a name for this kind of nose, which is called a Roman nose. I have nothing to complain about it. The paradox though is that a Roman nose in Italy wouldn’t be socially accepted by the Italians themselves; in Italy, for some unknown reason ,one is expected to grow a thin, chiseled French nose, if he/she wants to be considered beautiful. A Roman nose in Italy is something that you are entitled to be ashamed of. Ain’t that funny?
It’s like if my entire nation at same point in history established that our most distinctive physical trait is not interesting enough to be considered likeable. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to feel appropriately ashamed about the misfortune to be born with a Roman nose. And I am talking about probably a good 60% of the population.
Since an early age I’ve been criticized about my Roman nose; I have been encouraged to focus on my Roman nose and to feel conscious about it, at the point that I developed a complex of the nose, as if the nose itself was a terrible sin, the evidence of some sort of moral inadequacy that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life.
Unless I would get a nose job.
But I did not have a nose job.
From the Ebook "The Paradox of the Roman Nose"
..."At some point in the process I naturally felt the impulse to celebrate the nose, in a ritualistic ceremonial of the overcoming of my sense of inadequacy and my fear of judgment. The whole process happened behind my comprehension, taking the form of a sculpture with voluptuous nostrils and a long trunk embellished by a diamond."
"I discovered, about a year later, that this primordial shape, which I called of course Nose, was a celebration of creativity, due to its obvious phallic shape and the gem on its tip, which recalled a drop of semen. The whole sculpture was hinting at fertility and I felt deeply satisfied with my design. "
"It seems like I embraced the idea of a masculine identity in the creative process of my artistic production. How much was I hiding of my true self in order to please a male-centered society? Was my Nose a totem that expressed with an elegant yet obvious design my subconscious feeling of inadequacy as a woman in a contest where women artists get mostly ignored? "
..."My noses began to develop a slot in the front, which was another obvious sexual symbol. A tiny vagina was growing on my Noses, which suggested that the masculine creative energy was merging into the feminine. My Noses were now finally complete; they were androgenic creatures that expressed my total and unconditioned commitment to my artistic production. "