From top to bottom:
María Isabel Vargas, Floating Islands, acrylic on canvas.
María Isabel Vargas, Clouds and flowers, acrylic on canvas.
María Isabel Vargas, Mountains and trees, acrylic on canvas.
For more than seven years, Colombian artist María Isabel Vargas painted video game landscapes, mostly taken from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. saga, on canvasses. The resulting project, Video Landscapes, was exhibited in 2018 at Studio 74 gallery in Bogotá.
As she writes in her artist statement:
Playing with a video game is an immersive experience in a virtual reality. It is clear that everything is a fiction: the characters, their powers, lives and deaths; the missions, the worlds, the underworlds, the landscapes. Precisely from this fiction the designers of the video games are allowed to take all the elements to the extreme. Apart from the objective that the games propose, personally, I approach them from the visual fascination that the scenarios in which they are made produce me, I am moved by the desire to really inhabit them. I find myself before them in that state of contemplation, of dream. I take them to the painting in an attempt to exalt and prolong that aesthetic delight. I wonder how far I can simulate, with the clumsiness of what is done by hand, the cleanness and accuracy of these digital images.
María Isabel Vargas received her B.A. in Plastic Arts at the National university of Colombia, Bogotá in 2006, but her artistic career began much earlier. In 2004, she participated in the National Painting Competition held at the Luis Ángel Arango Library. Since then she took part in several solo and group exhibitions in Colombia and in other countries, including Iceland, the United States, Finland, Bolivia, and Argentina. Games - both analog and digital - are a recurrent motif in her practice (as she suggests, "the playful dimension is the essence of human experience"), as the video below demonstrates:
LINK: María Isabel Vargas