This Artist Uses Collage to Cut Through Stereotypes and Amplify Black Voices

Paige Simianer | February 8, 2024

The image is a promotional photo for an "Artist Spotlight" featuring artist Marryam Moma. It shows the artist sitting in a thoughtful pose, with her hand on her chin, in front of three large artworks. The artworks are collage portraits, incorporating floral patterns and human figures. The woman is dressed in a blue garment with colorful sleeves that have a floral print. She is seated in an indoor setting with a brick wall to her left

Marryam Moma melds the palette of re-purposed and recycled hand-cut pieces of paper and media together into fresh, layered imagery with new associations. 

Artwork Archive's Featured Artist Marryam Moma predominantly uses collage to delve into the intersections of spirituality, gender, race and identity, and sexuality, celebrating the human form and emphasizing themes of individuality and self-love. 

Through her art, Marryam aims to empower the Black body, particularly the female Black body, challenging societal perceptions and unveiling the inherent power, complexity, beauty, and value of Black women. 

Currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Marryam Moma continues to live, love, and create, leaving an indelible mark on the art world. Her work is not just visually stunning but is a powerful statement on the importance of the Black experience and body, aiming to empower, uplift, and change dynamics within society.

Artwork Archive had the chance to chat with Marryam Moma about the meaning behind her work, what success as an artist means to her, and how Artwork Archive makes her art career more manageable! 

You can see more of her work on Discovery and learn more about her art practice below:

collage piece by Marryam Moma entitled 'She Watches Over Me' set against a deep blue background. It features a silhouette of a person's profile in a vibrant yellow color. Within this silhouette, there's a cut-out revealing a portion of a person's face, focusing on the closed eye, nose, and cheek. The skin tone is a rich brown, and the closed eyelid is adorned with bright yellow eyeshadow. A large, pink peony flower is behind the face portion. The flower is detailed and realistic, with soft, rounded petals, and is complemented by green leaves.

Marryam Moma, 'She Watches Over Me', 12 x 12 x 1.5 in, 2019

Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process? 

The most satisfying part of the process is the initial conceptualization and gathering of materials for collage.

Selecting images and textures, envisioning their arrangement, and then bringing them together to create a cohesive narrative is an exciting and fulfilling aspect. Additionally, the element of physicality and tactility involved in cutting, arranging, and gluing the pieces provides a hands-on, immersive experience.

The sense of accomplishment I get in seeing the disparate elements merge into a unified collage artwork is deeply gratifying.


How did your background in architecture influence your approach to creating art?

My background in architecture has deeply influenced my approach to analog collage art.

It instilled in me a meticulous attention to detail, cleanliness, and discipline in execution. It also emphasized a focus on spatial relationships and an appreciation for the interplay of form and function. These elements guide my composition and give depth to my collage-making practice.


What inspired you to celebrate the human form in your artwork and emphasize ideas about individuality and self-love?

Celebrating the human form and emphasizing these ideas stems from a desire to uplift and empower others.

By highlighting the beauty and diversity of the human form, promoting body positivity, and celebrating individuality, I want to inspire self-love and agency in those who engage with my art.

The transformative experience of embracing and portraying these values is driven by a hunger to leave a legacy that fosters liberation and inclusivity.

collage piece by Marryam Moma entitled 'City Girl' It features a woman's face with a hand resting against the cheek. The composition is made of various faces split and combined. The left side of the face features an eye looking directly at the viewer, a gold earring. The right side of the face has a prominent eye with makeup, a hand with nails painted black gently touching the face, and lips painted with glossy lipstick. The person is wearing a choker made of pearls and gold, adding an element of opulence to the image. The background is a simple, plain white with a black geometric shape behind the head, contributing to the abstract and artistic quality of the piece.

Marryam Moma, 'City Girl', 25 x 25 in., 2022

Could you share more on how your work empowers and uplifts the Black body?

In my analog collage practice, I intertwine joyous and productive themes, serving as positive representations of the Black body.

My goal is to offer viewers a fresh, uplifting perspective that challenges and breaks collective contemporary stereotypes about the Black female body, fostering a sense of agency and self-love.

Through my imagery, I inspire a reclamation of narratives, providing a platform for celebration while promoting inclusivity and representation.


What impact do you hope your work will have on those who view it?

I aim for my work to inspire a positive shift in perceptions. I hope that viewers will feel a sense of connection, see themselves represented, and feel inspired to embrace diversity, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate the beauty of individuality.


What does success as an artist mean to you?

To me, success as an artist means creating meaningful connections through my work, sparking positive change, and leaving a lasting impact. It's about inspiring others, challenging perceptions, and cultivating a sense of inclusion and empowerment through art that resonates with diverse audiences.

The image presents a collage by Marryam Moma entitled 'Indomitable'. The piece features the side of a person's face juxtaposed with various elements. The person has two different skin tones (and faces juxtaposed on top of each other). one side is lighter and the other seems to be in black and white, divided straight down the middle. The person's neck is adorned with a ruffled, metallic gold collar, giving a sense of regal elegance. Surrounding the figure, there's a collection of flowers in various stages of bloom, including large purple and smaller white blossoms, intertwined with green foliage. The background includes a patch of solid blue, adding a pop of color to the composition. The white background surrounding these elements allows each to stand out distinctly.

Marryam Moma, 'Indomitable', 25 x 25 in, 2022

Do you have a favorite (or current favorite) piece of your own artwork, and if so, what makes it special to you?

I don't have a favorite piece because I am always curious to see my ideas come to life and dream about the next collage I'll create.

This constant creative hunger keeps me motivated to explore new ways and materials to express and share my ideas through collage, making each new piece a unique and exciting endeavor.


How do you use Artwork Archive to manage your art career?

I love Artwork Archive!

It provides a comprehensive platform with a streamlined "one plane of glass approach" that simplifies the organization of my art inventory, exhibitions, contacts, and sales.

I use Artwork Archive daily to log new artwork, track inventory, and update piece statuses. It helps me manage my contacts, track exhibitions and sales, and generate reports. I also utilize its scheduling and task functions to stay organized and on top of deadlines.

This year, I'm excited to use the platform's integration capabilities with my website and social media accounts. It will streamline the promotion of my work and help me maintain a professional online presence, ultimately saving time and making sure I can focus on creating and sharing my art.

Artwork Archive Tip:

Artwork Archive is a platform built by artists, for artists. Create your free account and discover how using a tool like this will elevate your art career. 

The image is a collage piece by artist Marryam Moma entitled "Sacred Ground". The piece  features a nude Black woman with a bald head, posing with her body turned slightly to the side. It seems as if the woman is pregnant. Her skin is smooth and has a glossy, almost metallic bronze sheen over the belly. A serene expression is on her face, with eyes looking off to the side, and makeup that accentuates the eyes and cheekbones. Around and on the person, there is cutouts of vines with green leaves and blooming roses in shades of pink. The vines seem to interweave with the person's figure, suggesting a harmonious connection between the human form and nature. There are also abstract marks with lines radiating outward. The background is plain white.

Marryam Moma, 'Sacred Ground', 20 x 20 in, 2022

What advice would you give an artist who’s just starting out in their professional career?

For emerging artists, my advice is to stay true to your unique voice and vision, continuously hone your craft, and remain open to learning and evolving.

Build a strong support network, seek mentorship, and actively engage with the art community. Embrace challenges, be persistent, and believe in the value of your work.

Lastly, stay organized, document your art, and actively seek opportunities to exhibit and share your creations.


Marryam Moma uses Artwork Archive to organize her artwork, send professional reports to clients, keep track of her exhibitions, and a whole lot more.

You can make an online portfoliocatalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reportstear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business. 

Purple graphic with screenshots of Artwork Archive's system. White text reads: Artwork Archive: An online portfolio + business management platform for artists. Get the all-in-one platform artists use to manage their artwork and career. Green button that says Try it Free leads to Artwork Archive's main sign up page.

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