Maria Moyer Dives Deep Into the Blue and Surfaces With an Exhibit

Maria Moyer goes from being a brand strategist to artist while still following a sustainable map.

What happens when you pick a road and stick to it? You get good at one thing and are ready for another. So goes the life highway of Wink Communication founder Maria Moyer. We’ve been big fans of Moyer for some time having discovered her work through an inspiring New York Times article on the Bureau of Friends back in 2009.

Successfully weaving sustainability and social issues into her work as a brand strategist at Wink, Moyer is now ready to examine the life aquatic with an art exhibit titled Blue, dedicated to the complexities of ocean based on her bi-coastal life in California and New York. The collection will be open to the public September 8th, at ROGAN in New York City and her pieces can be seen indefinitely  at BDDW.

“The collection is really a moment of reflection for me,” says Moyer, who has always lived by the ocean, having grown up in Southern California.

She says on her site that her childhood permitted frequent access to ocean landscapes and creatures, citing even at age 11, “while other kids played with dolls and Lego sets,” Moyer had an opportunity—under the watchful eye of a professor—to dissect a beached 18-foot squid. Years later, while her friends bought Eurail passes for trips abroad, she ventured farther into the Pacific, backpacking through remote areas of the Hawaiian Islands.

Susan Casey, O Magazine Editor-in-Chief and bestselling author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean and The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks, says Moyer’s work is a “gorgeous blend of sensitivity and sensibility; she never fails to spot the beauty of the natural world—even if it’s hidden 20,000 leagues beneath the sea. But it’s one thing to identify the sublime essence of, say, zooplankton or roses, and another thing to translate it into exquisite forms. For Maria, the former invariably leads to the latter.  There is no better word I can think of to describe her unique mix of whimsy, sophistication, and science than: delightful.”

While you can currently see some of Moyer’s art at BDDW in New York City, on September 7th, Bowery based fashion label ROGAN will host an invite only “cultural cross-roads of surf, fashion, arts and music in NYC creating a movement inspired by city and ocean.” ROGAN has invited friends to collaborate and create one-of-a-kind pieces and limited edition capsule collections for ROGAN VS. LOOMSTATE-SRF CTY, to be sold exclusively at the ROGAN store. The Blue collection will open to the public on September 8th, with 10% of all sales benefiting Waves for Water.

Julie Gilhart (with Anna Wintour) wearing Moyer’s Circle and Swirl necklace.

We were lucky to catch up with Moyer this week to ask a few questions about her collection and the inspiration behind it.

Here’s what she had to say.

One part of your life deals with helping others to set communication strategy and to develop clear messages (Wink Communication), the other asks you to create and tell the world who YOU are and what’s important to you through your art. Is this a challenge for you, or do they compliment each other?

I’m so glad you asked this question. It’s a good one. The answer: Both. Trying to do both is both a challenge AND these roles compliment each other. I want to be good at both. Making porcelain objects or creating things from wood is a great joy. It’s also intellectually and physically challenging. At the same time, it is somewhat solitary and a little self-absorbing as I persist in getting an idea across, or in my attempt to get a specific result from the material. On the other hand, my consulting practice is highly collaborative and in service to a person or an organization, many of whom are in pursuit of a greater good themselves. My work with Yves Behar, for example. Both compliment each other as they are the social and solitary parts of me. The challenge is time management. Isn’t it always?

“Untitled,” Unglazed stoneware frames (this piece contains 12 frames), sand, feathers, a eucalyptus leaf, a skate egg case, seaweed, and surf wax remnants.

Your Southern California childhood had a direct effect on your appreciation for ocean. Of all aspects of life lived by the ocean, why go for promoting “the tiny plants and animals at the foundation of the Earth’s food chain?”

Have you seen photos of plankton under a microscope? They are gorgeous. I will have a life-time of inspiration from them alone. Many of them come with a silica-based armor (not unlike porcelain) that protects them from predators – a most complex and miraculous architecture. If their beauty doesn’t get your attention, the facts might: Phytoplankton, including algae, sink more carbon than our Earth’s forests and they are also, as you said, a huge part of the world’s food chain. Beauty and power.
To know them is to LOVE them.

Temporary Bliss Bird Vessel (and necklace). Stoneware, unglazed porcelain and (azo, chromium and lead-free) leather cord. Available at BDDW in NYC.

What’s your favorite piece and why?

More than the resulting object itself, the process of making them is what makes something a favorite. It’s tough to choose between them. I’m very excited about a recent group that I call ‘vacuoles.’ They are in the “Blue” collection that I just (today) finished installing at Rogan in NYC. I also love and might not be able to part with an untitled wall installation at Rogan; it’s a bi-coastal archive of beach ephemera; a personal, natural-history journal. A lot of wonderful people in my life were involved in making this work. I had to get friends from all over to contribute sand from ‘my’ beaches. And I love a piece at BDDW that is a bird vessel.

Temporary Bliss Bird Vessel. Stoneware, unglazed porcelain and (azo, chromium and lead-free) leather cord. Available at BDDW in NYC.

Here’s a preview of more art from Blue at ROGAN as well as what you can find at BDDW.

Diatom. Unglazed porcelain. Approximately 6″ diameter.

Porcelain Breast Plate, (azo, chromium and lead free) leather cord.

Box of Hours. Stoneware and porcelain.

Blue Tab Necklace for ROGAN. Porcelain dipped in blue wash, (azo, chromium and lead free) leather cord. Various size and shapes.

Top image by Leslie Williamson

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.