2001, Twelve paintings on Goju paper

For this series, painted on Goju paper, soft and fragile-looking but very resistant, I have been inspired by the Japanese concept of beauty, “wabi-sabi”.It is a concept rooted in Zen philosophy and stressing the beauty of everyday life: the beauty that lies in aging, rusting, fragile and worn things rather than monumental and classic achievements . It is the beauty of irregularity, a sense of archaic imperfection, and a sense of mystery that leads to a mode of quiet contemplation and celebration.
I this series the shadow is as important as the light: sometimes things can be seen in a stronger way when they are seen obliquely, through the shadow they project. The figures rise from a depth of black, or stand in a darkened room, and the eye little by little gets accustomed to catching small dots of color. The black is like a darkened mirror, and in fact contains all the colors. Working with rapid, whitish strokes of pastel on irregular backgrounds obtained with soaking and rubbing, I let the haphazard shapes present in the black suggest which figure should be painted. In a sense the paper dictates every time what the figure should be.
The predominantly feminine figures are not self-portraits or individual portraits but evoke archaic cave paintings, an image of generic femininity and give out a feeling of joy and strong sexual energy . Sometimes, as in “Embrace”, they meet with a masculine figure; other times a masculine figure appears alone. The figures seems to come out of the background but also to recede into it, as if they were in the middle of life, poised between memory and future, considering what to do next . The circle present in many of the work is not an object but rather a funnel and pesents the possibility of a passage into another dimension.