Often, artistic practice is associated with the caricaturized cliché of the artist as a tortured soul, an anti-socialite, a recluse from society. An yet art as a place of belonging –not withstanding its long entwinement with solitude - has always stood apart as a place of latent meetings. Encounters forge bridges, assemble into stories that are minimal, personal, which when put together, themselves conform a history of art. Friendship as a social construct is fascinating. From childhood, humans need friends in order to construct their own personality apart from the tribe from which they originate. Friends allow us to break free from ourselves and yet, at the same time, to become ourselves, through shared bonds which are often nobler than those held with family or partners. Friendship acts as a magic tonic so that our identities may reveal themselves from the inside out; throughout a lifetime, it fills the need for a mirror of otherness. Friendship is a creative gesture, elevated, profound, a savior, as also art. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that there is circularity between friendship and artistic practice. Natalia Ortega Gámez and Hulda Guzmán are not only two of the most important current Dominican artists; they are also close friends. In Hulda’s paintings, Natalia embodies a Dionysian spirit of laughter, love, celebration and wisdom. Natalia is not the only one present: there are winks and nods to more characters in the storyline, other friends and family members. On the other hand, in Natalia’s work, Hulda was not featured explicitly until now, although her presence could be felt in the creative processes, in choices made and paths taken with the art pieces. Nevertheless, for the first time, Natalia here transforms some of her ceramic pieces into portraits of her friends, and naturally includes one of Hulda.
We Do It Together
An exhibition which pays homage to the cult of friendship as its inspiration; it is also a declaration of the current need to think together and lend a hand. Artists thinking together, galleries collaborating, communities expanding, borders and walls that are overcome. We are here together in this celebration to which you are most welcome.