December Cover Artist: Cristina Marian

Sunday Dec. 1st, 2019

Originally from Romania, Cristina Marian moved to the United States in 2013 and feels like Bozeman is her home now. She divides her time between working in the studio, exhibiting her artwork and pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at Montana State University where she also teaches drawing and painting classes.

Throughout her life, Marian often found herself on the edge of vulnerability, in which her feeling of belonging to one place was often replaced by the sense of living in constant movement, unpredictable spaces and states of unknown. “’Permanent Transitional Being’ is the expression that best describes my personal circumstances,” Marian says. Moving by herself at an early age from the countryside to a city of two million in order to study art, losing her home to a fire, witnessing the violent Romanian Revolution, and living between two divergent political regimes, all contributed to the feeling of permanent transition. These experiences have a strong influence on her artwork.

Marian works with a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and installation. Her work combines images, conversations, feelings and memories into visual narratives, simultaneously exploring ideas of the familiar and the mysterious, private and universal. Themes such as time, space, home, identity, the sense of place and belonging often appear in her works.

Marian’s paintings come about as a result of gestures, materials, colors and textures. She doesn’t have a plan or a sketch when beginning a new work. The way materials act and react on the surface, layered abstraction, arbitrary forms and intuitive marks inform her discovery. While working in the studio, she likes to maintain a childlike perspective - that sense of freshness and wonder that children have.

Marian is now diving into using new media in ways relating to her paintings. “It started with my desire to bring 3D gestural marks or brushstrokes into the gallery space,” she says. For her upcoming solo show, she plans a large-size installation. She wants to create a liminal environment that can be embodied and experienced, while linking her paintings visually and/or conceptually. The solo show is scheduled for April 13, 2020, at the Helen E. Copeland Gallery at MSU.

Marian’s work has been exhibited in Romania, Austria, France, Israel, Senegal and the U.S. You can find Cristina Marian’s work in local galleries, and online at or on Instagram.