Hello everyone! I’m always happy when someone invites me to a vernissage. Especially when it’s an artist presenting his or her own work. Last Friday I went to the opening of ‘Beholder‘, a collaboration between two artists living in Brussels: Maria Gil Ulldemolins & Juan Cañizares. Maria is Spanish and Juan is from Argentina. They met in Brussels and the friendship between them resulted in a very personal exhibition at TinyMighty, Maria’s studio in the city center.
Maria Gil Ulldemolins
Altar, 2016 (beeswax, wood)
I think Maria is quite a sensitive person. She explained to me that she feels like everything around us is changing very fast. What we know today, might not be there tomorrow. Everything seems perishable. We have almost no hold on the things around us. In order to deal with this, she meditates regularly. Her art is also like a mediation. It’s a process where she experiments with materials, until she reaches the result she wanted. Because materials are something she can control. She manipulates the material in all kinds of ways and forms. It’s a creative process, but also a spiritual one. Making art and meditating is also about getting to know yourself.
Granted, 2016 (Bumblebee, balsa wood)
Maria loves to work with organic materials, because they are also perishable. In Granted she presents one of the bumblebees she found on the street. She showed me all the bees she found on the same day in Brussels. They look so perfect and cute, even if they’re dead. What will we do when the bees are extincted? What will the effects be on our daily life?
Inhale, exhale, 2016 (Gesso, latex)
Untitled, 2016 (Slide viewer, vintage photograph)
Juan’s art work is also very personal. He told me that both his parents are dead. That’s why he is so intrigued by family pictures of people he doesn’t know. It’s like he is projecting himself in other people’s pictures. He doesn’t make the photographs, he just adds a personal meaning to it and appropriates them. As Maria says about his work, there is a tension between ‘being and un-being, what is and what could have been’.
Untitled, 2016 (Super 8 projector, vintage photograph)
Besides the photograph, there is always a device that projects the image. Juan sees a slide viewer, a projector or a telescope as an interpretation of the image, a way to project the reality. But whose reality is it?
If you are in Brussels this month, go see the work of Maria and Juan. There’s a lot more to see than what I showed you. The exhibition space is quite small and intimate, so it gives you the opportunity to get some explanations by the artists themselves. Until 31/07/2016, Rue Léon Lepage 11-13, 1000 Brussels (walking distance from Place Sainte-Cathérine).