Monday, January 16, 2012

Art Pillage: Natalia Fabia


Instigatorzine Art Pillage
Natalia Fabia. Jonathan Levine Gallery. Jan 14, 2012.
Punk Rock Rainbow Sparkle are probably the best four words that can describe the first East Coast solo exhibition from Natalia Fabia. Having no real inclinations of how the artist's work would appear and feel, other than her feature in Hi-Fructose early this year, to say that the paintings were very inviting and intimidating is something that should not be taken lightly. The elements of graffiti, iconic landmarks and other references to the East Coast reflect the artist’s research in the area before starting work on this series of paintings. The scenes in each painting, or environment, take on a life of their own. It feels as if the viewer has walked into the middle of a party, gathering or perhaps an intimate moment in the shower or underwater. This voyeuristic feeling is not caused exclusively by Fabia's arrangements, but her painting ability truly echoes and shines upon the kinds of paintings seen during the Renaissance. Paintings like these don't just happen, and it's nice to know that artists still paint like the masters. The models featured in each composition exude a type of freedom that  can only be displayed by independent, strong women, who aren’t afraid to have fun. One fun note, at the opening for this exhibition, all or most of the models who were in the paintings were also present at the show, making it possible for viewers to interact with the subjects of each painting. A strange concept, but fun, nonetheless.

While these paintings are certainly pretty, sparkly and well-done, the point of the series of paintings is not just to create something beautiful. Each composition is a glimpse into each of these women’s lives. Fabia selects models based on their personalities, ethics, and style. That said, each painting is a treasure not just to marvel at Fabia’s technique, but to try and decipher who the figures are. In a society that lets us hide behind profile pictures and status updates, it’s nice to have some truth in ourselves.

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