Growing up in Colombia in the ’80s and ’90s, during the years of insurgency and drug wars, María Berrío turned to myths and legends to help her find hope and meaning in a nasty world. “There was always fantasy,” says the artist, whose childhood was divided between Bogotá and a farm where her parents took the family for safety. “There was your grandma, telling you how things used to be. And it came from being in a place where nothing worked, where the politics was messed up, where there was nothing to protect you. There was instead pure belief—like, I’ll put four ladders, one on top of the other, and have faith I won’t fall.”
Image: María Berrío in her Brooklyn studio. Berrío wears a Dior dress; Machete earrings; necklaces (from top): Luz Ortiz, Another Feather (2); Manolo Blahnik shoes. Styled by Marion Kelly. Hair and makeup: Remi Odunsi for R+co and YSL Beauty; hair and makeup assistant: Oscar Chen; photo assistant: Janelle Jones.