YOUR SKIN OF UNTOUCHED ROCK
group exhibition with
Polina Pak, Javier Ruiz, Kyung Park,
Guillermo López y Naomi Boiko
26.01.24 - 17.02.24
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Painting the skin is painting everything. The dermis is, symbolically and literally, where life originates. From a literal perspective, the embryo is gestated from the ectoderm, the germ layer of embryonic development that gives rise to the central and peripheral nervous system. Skin and brain are the obverse and reverse sides of the same coin. As the philosopher Paul Valéry points out: "Marrow, brain, everything you need to feel, to suffer, to think..., to be profound: it all comes from there.... They are inventions of the skin!”
On a symbolic level, the skin resonates as an echo of the lived experience. It is our most effective protector and the envelope of what really defines us. Skin communicates endlessly: its shades, textures or moisture levels reflect our inner state. We blush with embarrassment, we turn pale with fear, our skin flushes with cold, but also when we feel intensely and deeply.
It is no coincidence, however, that human skin is a central element in the history of painting. The Pablo Neruda verse that gives the exhibition its title contains this idea: "Skin of untouched stone" brings together a group of artists artists who assign a predominant role to the representation of skin in their works and explore this element as a repository of metaphors about one's own identity, highlighting its prominence and thus revealing the complexity and uniqueness of each individual.
The skin conveys inner thoughts and emotions long before words seek to describe them. It is also our initial cover letter, acting as a protective shield and visible mirror of who we are at first glance. The complexion is the first indicator of our origins, of our own history. Tattooed or tanned skin, smooth or wrinkled skin. It is a witness and a reflection of the passage of time. It stands as the root of our identity, our being, our state of mind and our life situation. "As much as we dig, doctor, we are... ectoderm", Valéry continues, and concludes: "That is why, I assure you: the deepest part of the human being is his skin".
Text by Manuela Medina
POLINA PAK (UK, 1997)
Polina Pak (b.1997 Khabarovsk, Russia) lives and works in London after receiving a BA in Fine Art (Painting) from City and Gilds of London Art School.
Polina’s practice is firmly rooted in her longing to achieve a sense of familiarity and understanding of her past, present and future. Dreams, family stories, superstitious beliefs and her own experiences are a continual focus in her work.
Her characters, be it the protective, yet frightening tigers, the fragile and pensive birds, the small and quiet insects, or the gentle and caring hands are all symbolic depictions of her surroundings, anxieties and joys.
KYUNG PARK (CA, 1973)
Kyung Soon Park was born in South Korea and she moved to Canada to study Art and Language. She received her BAA from Sheridan ITAL in 2007.
In work that is both calming and searching Kyung Soon Park portrays idealized figures in various abstract landscapes to explore concepts of memory, identity and emotions in a surreal setting. Park demonstrates her fondness of nature in her work and invites viewers to share her colorful appreciation of the peace she finds there.
JAVIER RUIZ (ES, 1989)
Javier Ruiz began studying Graphic Design in Jaén in 2007. In 2013 he studied illustration in Madrid and continued in 2014 with painting and color theory in Los Angeles (USA).
In 2020 he moved to Amsterdam, a transforming life experience that shapes what today is the expressive force of his painting.
Mixing the classical force, the academic brushstroke and the energy of contemporaneity, Javier narrates in each of his works the concerns of human existence through the poetics of his compositions. His work is a constant search to show the prevailing reality of the world in which we live.
GUILLERMO LÓPEZ (ES, 1989)
Guillermo López is an artist from Madrid. Known as GVIIIE, he studied at the Escuela de Arte 10 after not being accepted in the Fine Arts BA.
In 2013, he finished his Film studies at the University of the Arts in London and developed various professional experiences in the audiovisual world. After working as a muralist for years, he graduated from the Master's Degree in Painting at the UPV in Bilbao in 2021.
He currently divides his time between teaching painting at diverse art schools and academies in Madrid (IED and Espositivo Academia, among others), and the personal work he develops in his studio.
NAOMI BOIKO-STAPLETON (UK, 2000)
Naomi Boiko-Stapleton completed her BA in fine art painting at Brighton university in 2022 and has exhibited in group exhibitions in the UK and internationally. Her work resides in private collections across the UK and abroad in Holland and the USA.
Naomi portrays a fragmented mythology using recurring symbols as an aid to unveil previously forgotten memories. Her intimate iconography reconciles her experience of loss, inviting ever-evolving reinterpretations of a personal mythology.