Taymour Grahne Projects opens a solo exhibition by LA-based artist Gabriella Sanchez
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Taymour Grahne Projects opens a solo exhibition by LA-based artist Gabriella Sanchez
Installation view.

LONDON.- Taymour Grahne Projects is presenting 'Rough Renderings of Sharp Images', a solo exhibition by LA-based artist Gabriella Sanchez (b. 1988).

Gabriella Sanchez is a multidisciplinary artist, whose practice is largely influenced by her background in graphic design. The elements of typography, text, form and color play a central role in her visual vocabulary, referencing artists who also utilize script in their work. Such examples are John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman and the collaborative works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, all of which have largely shaped Sanchez’s artistic identity. However, Gabriella takes a whole new approach to show how the (art) world contextualizes artists who use the same 'language', but come from different backgrounds. Each of the aesthetic choices encountered in Gabriella's work, whether it is the use of metallic fonts on her canvases or the comfortable poses of her models, attempts to deconstruct the expectations viewers have of female bodies in art and raise political awareness.

In this series of works, multi-layered puzzle-like paintings mix the personal and the political. Unlike Gabriella's previous work, which focuses more on abstract portraits from archival images frequently painted over or cropped to conceal the faces of her figures, here the artist is working with images of the present. All portraits featured in this exhibition are based on current photographs of Gabriella's family and friends, all femme identifying, whose faces are purposefully left minimally abstracted. Balancing on the limit between figuration and heightened abstraction, the faces of Gabriella's subjects are neither completely concealed or revealed. Like brightly colored butterflies that don’t hide from their predators because their colors and patterns signal they are poisonous, these dynamic women only allow the viewer to see what they mean to reveal. Faces may be clear, but the textures, hyper-edited hues and saturations of the original photographs still leave the figures in abstraction.

For these images, the ladies were instructed to wear clothes they felt comfortable in and they were purposefully photographed in natural positions of their choice. Gabriella then picked one photograph from each that reflected a classic pose seen in cartoons, religious paintings and LA chicanx culture. This remix of freedom versus classic depiction aims to abstract and un-make the stereotypical imagery of women in art and what the viewer expects or is used to seeing in traditional art history. An emerging reality is reflected by the previously objectified women in art, who now look the viewer straight in the eye in works where meaning is remixed, renegotiated, remade, and made real.

Gabriella Sanchez received her BFA in 2011 from PLNU in San Diego, CA. She worked for several years as a full-time graphic designer, executing projects with Nike, Toyota and other such clients. She began exhibiting her paintings and works on paper in 2016, and her work has been exhibited at spaces such as Jeffrey Deitch (New York), Charlie James Gallery (LA), Páramo Galeria (Guadalajara), the Crocker Art Museum, LMAK Gallery NYC, and ltdla. She has shown at various art fairs including Zona Maco in CDMX, EXPO Chicago, and the Seattle Art Fair. Her work is in notable collections including the LACMA, Crocker Art Museum, the JP Morgan & Chase Collection, and other private collections. Gabriella lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me,
He complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. The
last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true
As any on the shadow'd wilds,
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

- Song of Myself, 52, Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

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