Maria Kononov was born in 1997, in New Jersey, USA.
Maria started to draw for fun when she was only three.
Spontaneously, she took pencils and paper and started
making cut-outs of dogs and horses to play with. The
unusual talent did not go unnoticed and children from
her kindergarten would line up asking Maria to draw
their favorite animal.
Fairly quickly, she moved to watercolors, mastering
perspective by the age of five without any formal
instructions or external help. As she tried out
different techniques, her spectrum of colors just
kept on growing. While experimenting with pastels
and magic markers, color inks and natural paints,
Maria explored the various textures of paper, fabrics
and eventually canvases.
By now, Maria already had personal exhibitions in
Brussels, London, and Moscow. The young artist is
actively involved in charities, like shows and
auctions with proceeds going to orphanages. Today,
many of her works can be found in private collections
around the world.
Besides exhibitions, Maria's works have been
published in wall calendars, as cover illustrations
for the five books written by her grand-father, a
doctor and a writer Vladimir Naidin, and on greeting
cards that were sold by the thousands throughout the
world. In 2007, Maria drew sketches of 20 outfits
for girls and boys of her age. From these drawings,
actual dresses were made and presented at a fashion
show in April 2008. Belgian news media and TV
covered the event and Maria was invited to repeat
the show in Moscow, where Alef magazine welcomed
Maria as "the world's youngest fashion designer".
Maria is very close to her family, her parents
and little brother, Lev, who all support Maria
in her efforts. Today, like many youngsters
of her age, Maria Kononov likes music, books
and horse riding. But Maria's all-consuming
passion is art. Wherever she travels, Maria
is mentally recording her impressions and
saving them for her canvases. Folklore of
different countries nurtures her fantasy:
statues are brought to life, pigs fly through
the sky and Pegasus talks to the moon.
Maria's work mature with each day and multiply
in the number a clear sign of constant
inspiration and eagerness to share her thoughts
and emotions with others.
Let us wish her best of luck!