Collage artist Maja Egli creates surreal portraits by manipulating various images of women to work together as complex unities. Her work can be read both as a feminist statement and as a larger comment on humanity: on one level, she suggests that women are complex beings (a quality that is often denied to them in much of mainstream art), while on the other, Egli’s collages imply that we as human beings are composed of disparate and assorted influences. Most of her figures are incomplete, lacking some fullness of form; the few full figures that we do get are faceless.
There is a dark beauty to Egli’s work, as she often merges both black-and-white and color images in her collages. Perhaps the most striking example is the subtly violent collage featuring blood-red paint dripping down the main, black-and-white figure- her eye is also ripped open while the rest of her form is entirely calm.
Another composition features a pink-haired silhouette on a non-descript, mysterious background. Most of her body is made up of a hallway, the lines of which perfectly match her intended pose: the base of the column mimics a hand resting in a pocket, the low-rising wall follows the billowing flow of her coat, the checkered tiles of the floor anticipate her steps. Although she is posed in a somewhat masculine manner, the pink of her trousers and hair balance the image and make it more feminine.
Other motifs flow effortlessly throughout her compositions; the natural lines of trees and limbs, the subtle tones of flesh against darkness, the dialogue between fashion and femininity/style and sex. The women that Egli “creates” are nebulous and stoic, yet resonant and personal.