Stories about women • AmaliArt by Amalia Maciuca

Stories about women

My artistic exploration centers around the concept of social pressure faced by women in today’s society. Through my paintings, I delve into a diverse range of subjects, examining the significance of beauty standards, the complexities of career choices in relation to motherhood, and the weight of cultural expectations.

 

To create my artwork, I sometimes collaborate closely with professional photographers and models who serve as a wellspring of inspiration. Their unique perspectives and experiences enrich my creative process. Through engaging in discussions and interviews, I gather a rich tapestry of personal narratives, ensuring that my paintings not only depict my own experiences but also encapsulate the stories of other women.

'Psy Mary' by Amalia Maciuca

‘Psy Mary’

2023   /   Oil on Canvas   /   100 x 100 cm  /  2300 CHF

“Psy Mary” presents an introspective take on the iconic figure of Mother Mary, reimagined through a contemporary lens. This personal piece unintentionally borrows from my own features, crafting a spirit who is deeply immersed in the act of artistic creation rather than maternal care. Here, Mary is depicted similar to a shaman whose revelations are born from psychedelic encounters, shaping a vibrant and reimagined universe that transcends our usual perceptions.

 

Set against a backdrop of swirling, dreamlike flowing colors, this Mary is a serene force of nature. The halo signifies not only sanctity but also the enlightenment that comes from profound insight and the courage to envision a world painted in the bold hues of imagination. This painting is an homage to the power of creation, celebrating the potential within us all to reconstruct the universe in a more vivid and extraordinary palette.

'Remember Me' by Amalia Maciuca

‘Remember me?’

2023   /   Oil on Canvas   /   90 x 60 cm  /  1500 CHF

In “Remember me?”, the story lies in the profound journey of motherhood, a path often marked by self-sacrifice and devotion. This piece is a tribute to those mothers who, nurturing their children, might feel their own identities fading into the background. The figure, dressed in a flowing white dress, stands facing a boundless blue sky that symbolizes the vastness of a mother’s love and the depth of her personal sacrifice.

 

The wind blowing her hair is a reminder of the world outside the embrace of motherhood — a world where she exists not just as a caregiver but as a woman with dreams, desires, and a name of her own. This painting is a dedication to all mothers: to remember and honor the women they are, alongside their admirable role. It’s a visual prompt to reclaim their individuality, and celebrate it, even as they continue to shape the future through their children selflessly.

'Untitled' by Amalia Maciuca

Untitled

2023   /   Oil on Canvas   /   80 x 60 cm  /  1300 CHF

In this piece I’ve portrayed a deeply personal tribute to the silent courage of a dear friend. Her story is one of unspoken heroism, having carried the weight of her mother’s mental illness from an early age. She is a symbol of persistent love and care that helped nurture her mother back to better health, embodying an indestructible strength.

 

She stands dressed in garments reminiscent of Byzantine iconography, which mirrors her solemn yet resilient journey. The leaf that veils her face is a symbol of her modesty and the green sprout of hope that flourished from her sacrifices. This is a celebration of quiet heroes who bloom in adversity, whose stories are not shouted but whispered in the courageous spaces of the human heart.

'Paper Planes' by Amalia Maciuca

'Paper Planes'

2022   /   Oil on Canvas   /   60 x 50 cm  /  1100 CHF

“Paper Planes” is an ode to the hidden layers of every woman, those unseen stories and dreams that lie beneath the surface of everyday conversations about work and family. It’s about the secret lives we lead in the pages of books that beckon us to explore who we might be beyond our daily roles.

Here, the central figure is lost behind a book, a visual metaphor for the way we can immerse ourselves in literature, sometimes using it as a shield from the world’s demands. The origami birds symbolize the transformative power of stories that allow us to unfold wings of imagination and soar into realms of possibility. This piece is a reminder to share not just our routines, but the narratives that stir our souls, much like the profound connection formed over Elena Ferrante’s characters that can lead to unexpected depths of friendship and understanding.
'Viktoria' by Amalia Maciuca

'Viktoria'

2022   /   Oil on Canvas   /   60 x 50 cm  /  1100 CHF

In my painting ‘Viktoria’, I’ve tried to capture the quiet strength and complex emotions of a young Russian woman, a friend of the photographer I worked with, who dreams of life away from the influence of propaganda and the shadows of war. Financial constraints keep her rooted in Russia, but through her, I’ve explored the themes of hope and resilience. The greenery that surrounds her in the painting is a symbol of hope, the possibility of growth and renewal. Her black dress and the faraway look in her eyes speak to the grief and deep reflection that many feel in such challenging times.

This piece is more than just a portrait; it’s a collaboration that tells a story of human spirit and silent resistance. It’s about standing against overwhelming odds and yet daring to hope for a better future. Through ‘Viktoria’, I aim to bring attention to the individual stories and silent struggles that are too often lost in the noise of global events.
'I am no mother, I am no bride' by Amalia Maciuca

'I am no mother, I am no bride'

2023   /   Oil on Canvas   /   60 x 50 cm  /  1100 CHF

“I am no mother, I am no bride” is a canvas that speaks volumes about embracing one’s truth beyond societal labels. Inspired by the liberating lyrics of Florence and the Machine’s ‘King’ and a woman whose dreamy presence left a lasting impression on me, this artwork is a tribute to all the women who choose to define themselves on their own terms.

Draped in a princess gown, the subject stands as a symbol of serene defiance. Her gaze lifted skyward, she is a dreamer unbound by expectations, content in a world where her identity is not tied to traditional roles. This painting is a celebration of self-sovereignty and the quiet rebellion of simply being oneself.
'Summer' by Amalia Maciuca

'Summer'

2022   /   Oil on Canvas   /   60 x 50 cm  /  1100 CHF

“Summer” captures a snapshot of fleeting beauty, like the juicy crunch of a watermelon on a hot day. Inspired by a friend’s experiences, this painting is a shout-out to all the stunning looks that are too quickly judged by their covers. It’s a reminder that beauty is not just something to be seen during a brief season, but a depth to be discovered and savored all year round.

In this artwork, the watermelon isn’t just a summer snack; it’s a stand-in for the snap judgments we make. Behind the fruit, the model’s obscured face challenges us to look deeper and recognize that true beauty isn’t just a brief moment in the sun — it’s a lasting glow that shines from the inside, out. This one’s for every woman who’s ever felt misunderstood and reminds us all to appreciate the whole picture.
'No one will love you if you're unattractive' by Amalia Maciuca

'No one will love you if you're un-attractive'

2023   /   Oil on Canvas   /   60 x 50 cm  /  1100 CHF

In this painting, I confront the harsh societal expectations that many women endure about their appearance. This work is dedicated to those who have been harmed by the ‘advice’ that preaches conformity to standards of beauty — lose weight, apply makeup, dress up, or risk being unloved.

Drawing inspiration from the early songs of Melanie Martinez, which often critique social norms, I’ve depicted a figure with a rabbit’s head — a symbol of innocence often caught in the harsh spotlight of social judgment. This speaks to the vulnerability of being subject to unrealistic beauty standards and the objectification that women face, especially in the digital age where such ideals are amplified by social media.

It’s a visual story challenging the narrative that worth and affection are dependent on aesthetics. Through this artwork, I aim to question the pursuit of a fabricated ideal and offer solidarity to those who find themselves targets of an unattainable and superficial definition of beauty.