By Diego Gutierrez
If you've ever walked into a conversation where everyone had a different point of view you'll understand what it's like to stand in front of Nabila Santa-Cristo's work. Her paintings pull you into conversations regarding different aspects of life as an artist and similar to real life you either leave angry or laughing, but always affected by it. I had the pleasure of interviewing Nabila an learning more about her.
Diego Gutierrez Your paintings carry a refreshing and candid attitude, what made you decide to make work like this?
Nabila Santa-Cristo I guess I was tired of asking the viewer for too many favors. People couldn’t look past technique & instead of looking at the painting & trusting their interpretation they would ignore the narrative, ignore the whole idea that would unfold in front of them. They would focus on aesthetics, & the way in which it was made & never think about why it was created. So I tried to use everything I had, which includes writing in the paintings, in order to get people to understand that I wanted to talk about something different, I wanted them to see past their taste and hold a conversation with me.
💁💁💁💁💁💁💁💁💁💁But now they just say "I don’t like the writing it’s too distracting, it takes away from the painting and flattens the image." People don’t want painting to mean anything (laughing). Like my mom says, "paintings should be beautiful."
Silent and beautiful.
DG Do you think the questions you are posing sometimes push the audience?
NSC Yeah, it pushes people. I guess it pushes them in two ways. The writing within the painting throws people, it’s standoffish. It’s hitting them on the head with an idea. Specifically, someone else's view other than their own. But I try not to be didactic, hence the back and forth that happens in the conversations. This all started (putting in text & using a non-linear narrative) because people wanted to talk about painting in a more formal manner & I wanted to force the conversation beyond that way of thinking, or at least try. They still talk about formal aspects though & avoid the dialogue. With any luck the work invites people to join the discussion and think about the topic. Hopefully that’s the second way in which the paintings push people.
Posted January 23, 2016