The SONDER project contains works by contemporary painter Maria Kostareva, reflecting the everyday experience of a modern person living in a metropolis.
Sonder — the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk (from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows).
Maria reconstructs fragmentary episodes that themselves are insignificant, this way she seeks to emphasize the mutual connections between people and events, even if the trajectories of these links are not clear to us. Passers-by in Maria’s paintings are deprived of faces. She not only maintains their incognito status, but also leaves the opportunity for constant transformation. For the artist, this is a way to create a holistic space without the division into friend and foe. In her works, Maria weaves grains of the world such as past situations and fleeting memories into a single babble of images. Without trying to ‘appropriate’ the depicted people, Maria remains fascinated by the incomprehensible being of the Other, his fragility and originality, his vulnerability.
Maria's paintings oscillate between abstraction and representation; whereby, she is able to create timeless scenes that appear like half-remembered or imagined memories filled with a sense of nostalgia and longing.