Together we can redefine our pains, marks and traumas. Disease is at the service of health, it comes to show us something we are not seeing. My fears come from the lack of presence, perceive yourself, look further inside. Life is here and now. A scar is a symbol of strength, only those who have scars are alive. Art cures.
I was invited by Bianca Boeckel to be part of her charming gallery in São Paulo – the Bianca Boeckel Gallery. I was honored with the invitation and we opened my first solo exhibition on March 30th, 2019.
The idea was to show my work in SP, and for this we mixed my previous works in the first room – Perpetual Instant/Instante para Sempre and Cure/Cura – and the second room was dedicated to my newest works of art.
Atadura gessada sobre tela
Release | Bianca Boeckel
The Bianca Boeckel Gallery presents “Meantime/Entretempo”, a solo exhibition by the carioca visual artist Gabi Gelli, whose curatorship is done by Bianca Boeckel. In her first-ever exhibition in São Paulo, the artist presents 30 works of art – photographs, paintings, ceramics, embroidery, sculptures and installations – which represent her search for redefinition, in a concept that adresses the aethetics of the body, time, feelings, presence and the overcoming of traumatic experiences.
With a theme of working towards a common purpose, Gabi Gelli’s art talks about survival, of being stronger than the setbacks life presents and sheltering. At 16, the artist had to deal with a difficult diagnosis and the need for heart surgery. From this moment on, she began her artistic production in an instinctive manner, and the verb “redefine” became the guide throughout this entire path. This is how her paintings and embroidery came about for the Heart/Coração series, where she talks about the trajectory of a trauma. From overcoming this experience, the Scars/Cicatrizes series came about – where she photographed the scars of 21 people and then turned them into embroidery, redefining these marks, which were viewed before as the ugliest part of their bodies, now as beautiful works of art, and “Cure”/”Cura”, that deals with the internal overcoming of a trauma.
About the “Scars/Cicatrizes” series, the artist comments: “It’s something that’s a part of you. Only those who have scars are truly alive and that’s beautiful, and one must highlight this instead of hiding it. These works of art show how scars can be graphically beautiful. I seek to redefine the aesthetics of the perfect body, one without any marks”.
In the “Hands/Maos” series, Gabi Gelli seeks the redefinition of time and presence. In order to obtain the molds that are used as support for the works of art, it was necessary to plunge her hands into plaster for a few minutes. “In the beginning, I felt anguished in having both my hands in there, my cell phone would ring, I had many things to take care of and couldn’t move my hands until the mold had dried. For me, that was despairing – I’m a very high-strung person, I never imagined myself sitting still in my studio”. So the artist committed herself to produce as many hands as necessary until she was able to remain calm while doing it and thus assimilate something from that experience. She found a way of doing active meditation. “I’d do one mold after the other, I’d make them and let them dry, non-stop. One day I’d make 12 and then on the next day I wanted to make 14. During some of those days I’d be desperate for the mold to dry, and during others, I’d plunge my hands in, and all would be calm. I didn’t even take my cell phone to the studio anymore”, she comments. This way, she began to understand the concept of being present and went back to meditating, something that does her a lot of good and that she hadn’t practiced in years. She discovered that her fears came from the lack of presence.
By sharing these personal experiences, the artist seeks to reach out to the audience and help other people through these works of art that provoke an immediate identification, since many deal with universal subjects that, one way or the other, affect everyone. In the words of curator Bianca Boeckel: “I haven’t gone through a severe trauma in my life, but that doesn’t stop me from taking in what the artist describes and thus reflect on my own trajectory. Gabi’s work celebrates overcoming. There’s the pain, the trauma and the scar, but what could’ve been difficult and somber was turned into beauty through her metaphoric vision”.