Rochelle Botello

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Press Release/Statement

LAUNCH LA is proud to present two new solo exhibitions, Blissful Deflowering by Leigh Salgado and Wild is the Wind by Rochelle Botello. Curated by artist Marion Lane, both artists have a similar unplanned, intuitive approach. Their creative impulses and inspirations however lead them to strikingly different results.

By placing both bodies of work in close proximity allows viewers to pick out their similarities, their differences and enjoy art in their own fashion; whether it be through an deeply intellectual exploration of metaphor or a simple and liberating indulgence of their senses. Both artists share a labor intensive meditative process that leads them into the work… a playful yet diligent method of addition and subtraction that directs them to the final piece.

In Wild is the Wind, Rochelle Botello creates works that blur the distinction between sculpture and painting. She uses layers of brightly cut colored paper to build the surface quality. She allows her intuitive process to fuel her acts of mark-making and she investigates ideas of repetition in both form and pattern. Her work is meticulously pieced together from everyday materials like paper, duct tape, masking tape, and cardboard. Botello’s sculptures are constructed in a deceptively haphazard manner using bright colors to leap from one type of surface to another reflecting strange tactile associations, at times reminiscent of bark, elephant hide or gills. Asymmetry reigns as her forms shift freely into slopes or freestanding arches and pillars resembling some wild and thoroughly impractical style of avant garde furniture design.

“My sculptures draw upon the absurd to visualize sensations of wonder and play aiming to engage with ideas of existence.” Botello explains. Her constructions are energetic and playful, refusing dialectical boundaries between abstraction and formalism. Her work seems part of a strange dreamscape: twisted and free-flowing like molten metal, the sculptures themselves seem to defy our efforts to categorize and identify them. Some seem to have actively resisted Botello’s attempts to shape them, dripping lugubriously off the wall in luminous pinks and yellows like cartoonish radioactive sludge. No two of her sculptural pieces are truly alike, united perhaps only by a preference for bright colors and areas covered in dizzying stripes. As an artist, Botello understands there is great joy in going with the vagaries of the wind and letting it take you where it will.

Rochelle Botello is a sculptor and site-specific installation artist. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in the United Stated, Berlin and South Korea. Selected exhibitions include Holter Museum of Art, Torrance Art Museum, Jaus, Coagula Curatorial and Summer Camp Project Projects. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in the LA Times, Artillery Magazine, The Huffington Post and Coagula Art Journal and are in private collections in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco and New York. Botello holds a MFA from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Sociology (with an emphasis in Social Psychology) from University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently an instructor at Citrus College, Teaching Artist at Ryman Arts and Workshop Coordinator at ArtworxLA.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My sculptural works describe and idiosyncratic world that draws upon the absurd to visualize sensations of wonder and play, aiming to engage with ideas of existence. My works aim to exploit extremes and contradictions such as humor and tragedy, perversion and pleasure and control and letting go. Constructed in bright color combinations, decorative patterns in unexpected juxtapositions my sculptures are pieced together with everyday materials such as paper, duct tape, masking tape, cardboard and fabric. I want to explore the complex and contradictory nature of everyday life.

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