Artist Statement- Gabriela Schutz
To paint or draw from observation nowadays is almost a defiant act against the increasing speed and superficial way in which we’re taking in the world. As opposed to looking at our phones while skimming, taking photos, posting, liking, sharing, googling, etc, drawing from observation offers slow, physical and patient engagement with our surroundings. Yet, I am fascinated by the way technology, information, communication and consumerism are increasingly shaping our life. I'm interested in the formats, aesthetics and language that phone technologies offer.
I’m also interested in the content we put on social platforms and the way we behave on them. We take photos, upload them and portray our 'successful' life- We market ourselves, seeking for the quick gratification of being ‘Liked’ by other people.
When drawing, one internalises an experience in a profound way through the time it takes, and the thoughts and feelings that accompany the process.
For a while now I’ve been interested in the way text and image correlate. With so much of the communication nowadays done through the phone, and with the reluctance to tap or read long texts,
the image and words enhance the messages; whether it is with the emojis added to a text or with the explanatory sentence along the image.
By painting, drawing, printing, sculpting, creating installations and involving the viewers in taking part in my works, I try to counter the fast, impatient continuum of noisy information while enjoying discovering it's aesthetics.
In the Holyland series, I am looking at how the architecture and demography of a place reflects on its social, cultural and political agendas. Looking at Israel as an Israeli who no longer lives there, I am attempting to view the subject as Romantic painters viewed and depicted the Holy Land, and explorers of the Enlightenment period attempted to record the world as accurately as possible. With the curiosity of an outsider but with the insider’s knowledge of what to focus on, the seemingly pastoral works reveal the strong emotions and tensions.
© Gabriela Schutz