These pieces, very new, all date from mid 2022, and one form the end of 2021.
These pieces mark a departure form previous wooden sculptures, in the sense that older work were very much linked to my large format charcoal drawings, abstract,’painted in black, white and grey, very much as gestural as my charcoal strokes.
Yet these pieces come across, in my thoughts, as homages to my sculptural muse and fellow Venezuelan Marisol Escobar, Warhol’s bestie the darling of the NY scene in the early 60. Her painful shyness -and being a woman- played against her so knowledge about her and her work is quite limited. Yet in Venezuela there are museum rooms dedicated to her large scale, monumental works.
I grew up in an area of Caracas that made possible for me to go alone to the contemporary museum all too often. Marisol’s work resides there permanently.
When I moved to the UK and saw Ana María Pacheco (Brazilian, based in the UK) raw and riveting policromes wood carvings all my love and admiration for Marisol’s work came flooding back. We have in Latin American a popular tradition in policromes wood carvings, either for popular or religious consumption. The popular carvings somehow draw in the West African tradition in policromes wooden poles honouring the ancestors. In Venezuela, almost every other home has a corner with painted small poles or trunk, carved as saints or historical figures such as Simon Bolivar or Negro Primero (used in the Santeria religion) either for decoration or for kept for protection -or both.
In chuches one can see high end wood carvings inspired by the barroco and rococo Spanish religious figures that’s made their way to Venezuela, during colonial times.
Both kind of carvings somehow colluded in Marisol’s work, together with her unique Pop Culture touch - and sense of gravitas and humour combined.
My latest pieces are strangely funny and Grace at the same time. They are severed -women- body parts presented in vivid colours and funny titles, and all have wheels.
“Diana’s High Waist Cycling Shorts/Kist coveted shape-wear” is just an example.
Or “High Knee socks/Not knickers”, another.
As an immigrant artist that has to deal with English as my second language It seems I am taking pleasure in playing with words.
These pieces were first shown in TWO DOORS, an exhibition curated and presented by TART Gallery, London, in association with The House Of Saint Barnabas, Soho, London (June-August 2022)