From the artist:
Our memories, narratives, and imagination can be at once personal and political. Leslie Jamison writes that “It’s easy to misunderstand the self as private, when it’s rarely private at all: It’s always a public artifact, never fixed, perpetually sculpted by social forces.” I left my country as an adult after a tumultuous childhood and coming of age. I was born in a dysfunctional Jewish family in the middle of a seven-year murderous dictatorship in Argentina. In the past ten years, I have frequently visited Latin American countries but have not been back to my own city: Buenos Aires. My relationship to my past and country is fraught. Like Julio Cortázar and Jean Rhys I’m uprooted and compelled to remember, reimagine, and recreate both my past and my place. I do so through strategies rooted in invention and abstraction as well as satire and storytelling. A sense of longing is expressed in the intensity of color, distortions, and the overt or implied narratives that unfold in my images. In the studio I give myself an opportunity to reconstruct stories and fantasies that could go awry in my imagination. I search for a sense of home in the work itself.
My ink drawings have a feminist bend and tell stories about people in a straight-on, illustrative manner. Spontaneity and rhythm are present and the final aim is to communicate a mindset in the vein of artists like Marcia Schvartz, Kara Walker, and George Grosz. The narratives often come from my own experiences back in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I also depict stories that I have heard, read, or invented. I see my black and white figurative drawings as memories or expressions from my past, while my color works are abstract and the vocabulary of my present. Both styles are essential to me, inform each other, and keep recurring in my work throughout the years. This duality of style might be related to the fact that I am bilingual and an immigrant, inhabiting a sort of split identity.
The abstract works are improvisations, keeping process and discovery to the fore. I like to imagine the paper or canvas as a body itself: wanting to be caressed and indulged, it is also capable of sustaining injury and creating scars. I search for compositions that include binaries in their formal structure like depth and flatness, whole and fragments, smoothness and roughness, lines and planes, light and dark, and so on. I exploit these dichotomies to create 'weak' points that bring to mind those present in one's thoughts, memories, and experiences. Tales of what the images are about surge into view, for example: labyrinths that absorb and expel, portals through which one can escape, the movement of sound from a human mouth to another’s ears—to name a few. I allow free associations and a loose narrative to take over and guide me throughout the making, leaving room to be lost and searching, changing course. I stay alert to possibilities I had not considered before. Working in this manner helps me stay grounded in the process and keeps my images fresh but it is also a philosophical approach. Transforming accident into incident, learning to appreciate swerves and unexpected paths, reacting and adapting to the influence of one’s changing environment: these are helpful attitudes in the studio and in life. I try to amuse and surprise myself with new routes of action and thought so the work hopefully insinuates those possibilities to the viewer.
María Korol, 2018