Painter, printmaker and queer activist Mariela Scafati uses unframed, monochrome canvases to create three-dimensional objects and installations that reinterpret traditional genres such as portraiture and landscape painting.
The work Pienso en tu pelo (I Think of Your Hair) is suspended from the ceiling by a rope. Additional ropes are tied around some of the canvases in the manner of Japanese bondage art. The ensemble evokes the image of a bound body hanging upside down. This opens up the possibility of various interpretations: Is the character being subjected to physical violence as in torture? Or is there something rather playful about the pose? As in other works, the proportions are based on the dimensions of a specific person from the artist’s circle or, as in this case, of the artist herself. In contrast, the work Paisaje invertido (Inverted Landscape) references the landscape painting genre. Here, six paintings in various dark shades of blue are suspended at different angles from the ceiling. When viewed from below, they combine to form an inverted landscape. The monochrome canvases are painted in several layers using only a brush.
Painting serves Mariela Scafati as a medium of memory and of processing her experiences. These include the artist’s regular political activities on the streets of Buenos Aires in which she has participated since the early 2000s and with which she is involved in various collectives of the local LGBTQI+ community. She reflects on art, activism and community in the drawings in tones of red and pink entitled Algo se rompi (Something Broke): 2011 – Windows – 2021, which offer a glimpse into the thinking of Mariela Scafati.