LAUNCH LA is proud to present Before Arriving by Daniela Campins and Rema Ghuloum. Though featuring work by two artists with divergent perspectives and backgrounds, this exhibition finds unity in its exploration of abstraction. The resulting artworks are a testament to its power to express the otherwise inexplicable.
Campins focuses on the invisible forces and occurrences that drive our universe, morphing them into things we can see and feel. Concepts like gravity, buoyancy, pulling and dissolution feature prominently in her work, distilled into their purest, non-representational essences. Sometimes her paintings are more clearly influenced by reality, imitating instances like a rain shower, or the tug of gravity on an individual water drop. In Campins’ hands, paint and ink become protagonists rather than inert tools of expression: each daub of viscous paint or drip of diluted ink has its own message and tone to impart. These elements connect, blend and clash on the negative space of blank canvas, creating clear and expressive pieces of art in the process.
Daily walks to the studio play an integral part in Ghuloum’s artistic process. The sights that Ghuloum observes on her outings along with those in her studio translate into her paintings and sculptures. These inspirations vary – from the color of road markings to the shapes cast by shadows or intensity of sunlight filtering through a fence. Out of all of these things however, walls are of particular interest to Ghuloum – both as physical and psychological entities. Like her canvases, they are neutral spaces, ripe to bear the marks of human experience. They represent boundaries, barriers and the point where spaces converge.
Ghuloum’s recent work draws inspiration from the still life paintings of Giorgio Morandi. However, rather than using familiar household objects, Ghuloum arranges her sculptures into still life scenes and then paints impressions utilizing direct examination and memory. This process allows her to explore the nuances of observation and to recall that sense of existing both in the present and the past.
Before Arriving is art that engages the audience’s perspectives and imagination. The journey from real-world inspiration to finished painting allows many interpretations. Most of all, Before Arriving’s allure lies in what it reveals of the women who create it, the objects that inspire them and the personalities that transform observation into art.
Daniela Campins (born 1976, Leeds, England) grew up in Maracay, Venezuela and moved to the United States in 1995. She received an MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 and a BFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University Long Beach in 2008. Her work has been included in exhibitions at The Torrance Museum of Art, Boom, GLAMFA, New Wight Gallery in UCLA, Atkinson Gallery at the Santa Barbara City College, the Santa Barbara Museum of Fine Art, Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia; Art Platform-Los Angeles, the Rheeway Gallerie (CA) and Expressiones Cultural Center in Connecticut. Campins was a 2011 VCUarts Painting and Printmaking Fountainhead Fellow. Daniela currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
In my latest work I have been making drawings and paintings that memorialize fields of frozen procedures where the protagonists are viscous paint, diluted drips, tentative lines and precise actions. These are process-oriented works that respond to physical and visual experience. The materials I use are oil, acrylic, spray paint, and ink on canvas and the works on paper combine cumulative mark making, painted pieces of paper, and tape. I see picture making as the re-enactment of mental images within the confines of a theatrical frame. Drawing and paintings associative powers connect the familiar, what we know, what we see, what we are trying to understand, to our surroundings and I strive to present it in an unknown way. It is this provocation that I am after the most.
Some of the works render illusionistic visions, and formally articulate aspects of physical concepts, but in its organization, and not in its accurate resemblance or mimetic appearance. Often times the compositions are loose, casual manifestations apart from concrete realities, abstract concepts like gravity, buoyancy, collision, pulling and dissolution present themselves into the work. In my process there is a constant of impulse and restrain, a visual descriptive narrative of fallen spatters, cascading marks, anchored drips, and severed parts.