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The artist was born in 1972 under the native name Mario Jakob Stroitz as the second of five children in Villach (Austria). Even in his early teens, the world of Disney, Marvel and DC offered him a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in his parents' hotel. Already at this time he began to draw the characters with colored pencils and immersed himself in these distant worlds and heroic stories. After various jobs, he began to dedicate himself again to his old passion - drawing - in the mid-90s. He initially designed mascots and illustrations, while doing self-study with both figurative and abstract painting. After attending art seminars to consolidate his drawing skills and researching new techniques, he decides to combine comics and acrylic painting and begins to work on the series “Comic Meets Art”. Heroes - from comics, computer games and films - can still be seen in the works of his current “More than Pop!” series.

The world of cartoons. The Carinthian artist Mario Jakob Stroitz, alias artmaja©, transports us into a new world with his dazzling works - the world of cartoons. On the one hand strange and yet familiar to almost everyone, his colorful works merge childhood heroes from various cartoon series with astute phrases and subtle remarks in the style of 60s pop art. Maja's works are characterized using different cartoons and cartoon characters. Based on the style of great American modern artists, the commercial templates are individually reinterpreted and charged with personal memories and current events. Special attention is paid to the current elaborate painting technique with which Maja lets his drawn figures look like eye-catching prints. In a multi-stage creation process, the artist “builds” the scenery - using different techniques, layer by layer.
In earlier work series, for example the series “Comic Meets Art”, not only drawn childhood heroes but also real icons such as Marilyn Monroe or Albert Einstein find their way into the artist's work. The combination of digital printing and lavish overpainting creates a very personal visual language. Over the years, the stylistic device of the collage fades into the background and finally ends in a completely painterly combination of the individual picture elements. The expressive coloring, which runs like a red thread through the entire oeuvre of the artist, remains a steady constant.
In the current series of works “More than Pop! ... the shrill coloring is increased by the new influences of spray-art. By means of repeated overpainting and mixing, an effect of depth is achieved despite the monochrome effect of the color surfaces; there is no longer any brushstroke or excitement in the brushwork, as was the case in the previous creative phase. Using neon colors and partially applied glitter particles, the artist elevates the classic elements of Pop Art to an effective, second level. The scriptural inserts create a communicative context within the scenery: on the one hand between the individual protagonists, on the other hand from within the work, as an appeal to the viewer. A communicative connection with which the artist refers to the original definition of comics as an independent form of communication.


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