Joining together an extensive palette of vibrant and often playfully patterned fabrics to construct bodily forms, Maria A. Guzmán Capron’s practice explores cultural hybridity, a non-binary sense of self, and the competing desires to assimilate and to be seen. Born in Milan, Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents and later relocating to Texas as a teenager, the artist recognizes the challenges of toggling between various cultures and geographies. The artist’s multilayered textile works offer a physical manifestation of the polyvalent influences that shape us, emphasizing that we consist of several identities—some that we repress and some that we exalt.


Composed with a variety of recycled, off-cut, and store-bought fabrics, Capron’s works merge privileged textiles with those that have been rejected and discarded as excess. By contrasting common fibers like cotton with more luxurious fabrics like silk, the artist addresses material hierarchies in art and fashion to parallel the power dynamics that exist within class and gender. 


Building from this critical ground, Capron investigates how clothing is used as a tool for the performance of self—signaling the unrestricted spectrum of cultural identity. Drawing from immigrants’ experiences, she is invested in the friction of mistranslations—of failing to “dress the part,” or having one’s pride in self-expression overcast by exoticization or coercive assimilation. In addition to serving as a metaphor for society’s inequities, her use of mainstream and mass market materials functions as a subversive gesture to challenge the homogenizing capitalist landscape. Enlisting an intentional range of materials, including fabrics readily accessible to all, Capron demonstrates that the very fabrics used to reinforce hierarchies of class can instead be used to dismantle them while staging a space for difference to thrive. 


Exaggerated body parts—signature moves in Capron’s work—render muscular arms that embrace, puffy fingers that clasp together, and slinky legs that intertwine to become one. Through eclectic fabric and subtly painted brushstrokes, these interlaced figures confront the viewer and become an invitation for vulnerability, openness, and individual expression.



Maria A. Guzmán Capron (b. 1981, Lives and works in Oakland, CA) was born in Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Houston in 2004. Select solo exhibitions include The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, TX; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; Texas State Galleries, San Marcos, TX and Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Select group exhibitions include Boston University, Boston, MA; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, CA; The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, CA; Public Gallery, London, UK; NIAD Art Center, Richmond, CA; CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA; Deli Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; and Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, Buffalo, NY. Her works have been written about in HyperallergicVariable WestBomb Magazine, and Art in America.


Capron’s work is in the collection of the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, the Jorge M. Pérez, Miami, FL, and the Speed Museum, Louisville, KY. As a 2022 recipient of SFMOMA’s SECA Award, her exhibition Respira Hondo was presented at SFMOMA through May 2023.

Installation shots
Art Fairs