Even though Mariela Scafati’s works are sculptures and installations, her works can be understood first and foremost as an exploration of painting. Her constructions consist of unframed, monochrome canvases that are connected to each other with hinges. In their composition, they evoke associations with human figures. In fact, their proportions are often based on people from the artist’s environment, such as friends and family members, with each sitter being assigned a different hue.
The work “Pienso en tu pelo (I think of your hair)” (2021) hangs from the ceiling on a rope. Additional ropes are knotted around some of the canvases in the manner of Japanese bondage art. The ensemble is reminiscent of a strapped body hanging upside down from the ceiling. This opens up numerous possibilities for interpretation: Is the figure subjected to physical violence, as in torture? Or is there not something playful inherent in the pose? And doesn’t the title reflect a tender attachment?
If Scafati’s corporeal works such as “Pienso en tu pelo” echo portraits or figure paintings, “Paisaje invertido (Inverted landscape)” (2021) in turn refers to the genre of landscape painting. Here, six movable paintings of different, dark shades of blue hang below the ceiling so that, when viewed from below, they merge to form an inverted landscape.