Kara Maria's work, which she describes as "cheerfully apocalyptic," is inspired by current events, including environmental catastrophes and political crises, as well as the influence of these occurrences on popular culture. Charged political issues, such as the atrocities that occurred during the Kosovo War, are addressed using pornographic images of sexuality and war combined together in patterns that suggest order amidst chaos. Her paintings are at first glance abstract, but on a second look reveal a myriad of figurative references. Maria manages to imbue gravity into a Pop Art aesthetic, which has made her a rising star on the art market.
The recipient of a Masterminds Grant from SF Weekly, Artadia Award and Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley, Maria lives and works in San Francisco.