Maria Luisa Tamara-DeSantis

Born in Barranquilla-Colombia

Lives & works in Manalapan-NJ


Artist Statemant


My work in wrapping has been a way for my paintings to evolve as material sculptures. I started using a collection of yarn, that I have been building for years, knowing that I would take a break from painting to have children. I am no knitter, but enjoy the material dialogues in yarn, gorgeous linear potential bound in coils of color and texture. The wrapping process parallel is to my paining process, but in a medium that is versatile, space friendly, and non-toxic, as now, my children are usually running around.


The methodical process is important to me. Beginning the process with individual sticks, thoughtfully wrapped. After 20-30 have been assembled, they are harmoniously grouped (typically in threes). Once grouped, another weaving process starts, assessing color and texture, hiding, pushing, pulling, adding and retracting, for the group of individual sticks to mature into a coherent piece.


Working with a limited palette, the primary focus on reds, crimsons and oranges, I make sure the right color is in the right place; next to more color, using many layers. Interesting color combinations, like neons next to neutrals, and hidden bits of yellow, are used to subvert the traditional colorfield. I intentionally highlight colors, that push back to be the ones that give the piece resolution. Inspired by shrines, spaces of devotion, dedication, and faith; I explore the intensity and the fetish of materiality. I have started to incorporate found objects, pompoms, beads, and little Guatemalan worry dolls, to add dynamism and to interrogate the horizontal axes of my mostly vertical pieces.


In 2015, the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum had an exhibition, “Judith Scott- Bound and Unbound.” It was at this retrospective, where I first saw her work, and first saw an artist whose work correlated with mine, personally and aesthetically. Her pieces are magical, intense, static chaos, hiding and revealing and trying hold it together by tying objects together. I began wrapping pieces after having my first son, who was like Judith, diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and after leaving her show, I know it was not just coincidence. 


While raising my son and daughter, watching them grow in to small people, it is hard to not see my pieces the same way. As tiny individuals, distinct and strong, which I have had the proud privilege of lovingly and carefully crafting. 



2010- Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC



  • MUJERES,Sayulita,Mexico                                             2017

  • UNENCUMBERED, Yonkers, NY                                    2017

  • WIP- 117 Beekman Street, NY                                                2016

  • PARALLEL LIVE- Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL                   2016

  • KUNSTKAMMER – Parenthesis Gallery, Bushwick, NY         2015

  • INAUGURAL EXIBITION. Yonkers, NY                             2015



  • YONKERS ART EXIBITION, Yonkers, NY                               2015

  • GREENPOINT GALLERY, Brooklyn, NY                                 2014

  • INSIDE OUT - torche' galerie, Belmar, NJ                           2013

  • NICE TO MEET YOU, - Materilas for the Arts Gallery, LIC, Queens, NY                                                                    2013

  • KALEIDOSCOPE IN CONDITION, BFA Thesis Exhibition, New York, NY                                                                  2010

  • "40' x 19' x 11'" - At M55 GALLERY, LIC, Queens, NY        2009  

  • JUNIOR ART SHOW - At FIT Great Hall   New York, NY       2009

  • FINE ARTS VS ILLUSTRATION - At 2/20 GALLERY   New York, NY                                                                          2009

  • FIFTY UNSPOKEN WORDS - At M55 GALLERY, LIC, Queens, NY                                                                   2008 

  • ART IN THE CENTRAL MARKET   Florence, Italy                  2008

      - First and second place in the arts and design competition

  • THE ANNEX, CAE   New York, NY                                         2008

  • ARTS COLLECTIVE - At 2/20 GALLERY   New York, NY       2006