A B O U T
the story of "artist maasai"
Maasai Rees-Tabari was born and grew up in New York City; she mostly lived on Manhattan's lower Eastside, for over 20 years in a community called Stuyvesant Town – Peter Cooper Village. In 1984, Maasai attended the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. At SVA Maasai majored in painting and minored in sculpture (creating sculptural furniture).
Her first solo show, titled, ‘Safe In Heaven Dead’ (1992) was at a private home in Harlem. In 2001, Maasai moved to Los Angeles.
The illustrated tone, bright colors and imagery she stylistically uses to tell the story of female vulnerability, and the beauty of painful human emotion are a reflection of her authentic experience of life.
In 2012, Maasai had a studio at the Beacon Arts Building, in Los Angeles. Having this dedicated workspace, in Los Angeles's growing art community really amplified her imagination, and created more depth and artistic quality to her work.
In 2012, Maasai was nominated to apply for the prestigious art fellowship USA Artist $50,000 grant award.
In 2014 began using new medium and now all her current work is exclusively created digitally - using WACOM's Cintiq HD Touch Tablet.
A few artists that influenced Maasai's work in her early life include the following:
- Tom Feelings
- Jacob Lawrence
- Romare Bearden
- Elizabeth Catlette
- Constantine Brancusi
- Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo
- Pablo Picasso
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Alberto Giacometti and so many more