Gaby Collins-Fernandez

Artwork   Bio   CV

What Is My Work About?

The entwining of materials and surfaces. I canít help but see words as language, gesture as language, color as language, scale as language, all devoid of inherent authority. But I want for forms and concepts to touch. Iím working toward an emotional center in the work which is its quality of touch and the density of what is entwined or stacked. Sometimes lightly, as when fabric hangs and rests on the floor or the work is nailed against the wall. Often with heaviness (model magic and paint forcing touch), gumminess (caked paint and color), directness (words, cuts).

Artist Statement

I am an abstract painter.

Stacking, conceptually and visually, is important to the work. The stacking of colors in a gradient. The stacking of kinds of forms or lines on top of each other. Placing text within a gestural or painterly field. Stacking forces elements to be read as distinct and layered; visual experience comes from the particular layer being observed. In the work, stacking happens up and down, as abutted halves, and projected outward from the surface. As a strategy, it allows for me to equalize categories: color, surface, text, gesture, materialóall function as kinds of language within the work.

For this reason, colloquiality is also important. I want the words in the work to refer to a body, or a speaker, but not to a specific individual. The word has a timbre, a speed and it comes from a mouth, but I don't know whose mouth it comes from. It is a kind of dangling speech. Likewise, gesture and color in the work don't describe my body or an observed light condition, but create material conditions for a moment of speech.

The logic of stacking is the logic of touch, materiality. Specifically, a kind of surface roughness or gumminess (attention flypaper) can contrast with the directness of cuts and lines. The work does its work through collage (syntactical organization of different languages), but what I seek most strongly is for an entwining to occur.

This is the emotional center I desire. A moment of surprise, an embrace, a particular quality of touch.

The variability of the format of the work is useful because I feel very much in the middle of this enterprise. It has been a struggle to make larger work that isn't directly referential to the body. Because the space of the smaller work is head space, projected spaceóa more abstract space, I have been able to loosen up and stay flexible while little.


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