Maria Sol Escobar is her full name, though took on the nickname of Marisol. She is a sculptor born in Paris, France of May 22, 1930 to proud parents Gustavo Escobar and Josefina Hernandez, and is still living today at age 83. marisol dropped her family surname of Escobar in order to Their wealth derived from the Venezuelan oil business and real estate that afforded the family a very comfortable, social lifestyle. Josefina, her mother died in NYC in 1941; Marisol was only 11. Her father moved her and her brother, Gustavo Escobar ( Jr. ), to Los Angeles after World War ll .
Marisol first studied art in evening drawing classes at the Jepson School in Los Angeles when she was sixteen. By this time, she was already proficient in representational drawing. Catholicism infused Marisol with beliefs in mystery, miracles, intercession and awareness of a spiritual/supernatural aspect of life that dominated both her character and work as an artist.
She was encouraged by her father to pursue her interest in art, so Marisol moved to Paris to study for a year in 1949, at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, she was instructed to mimic the painting style of Pierre Bonnard. Marisol moved to New York City in 1950, looking for more abstract approaches. There Marisol took art instruction from decorative painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi at New York’s Art Students League.
It was in 1951 she discovered Pre-Colombian artifcats, and found her true passion. She dropped painting taking up sculpture. Many of her paintings remain in the hands of friends and are rarely sold, therefore difficult to appraise. Inclined to work with terracotta and wood, she remained primarily self taught, though she did take one clay course in a New York institution. She took courses at the New School for Social Research ,and studied uner her most influential mentor ( 1951-1954), Hans Hofmann ( the so-called ‘dean of Abstract Expressionism,’ ). It was in his school she became acquainted with the...