Tatiana Garmendia


I -consciousness- originate in skin
-Czeslaw Milosz

Born in Cuba, I was raised a devotee of Santería -the syncretic mix of Yoruba mysticism and Spanish Catholicism. Moreover, I come from a family of doctors. Hence, I grew up in a household where the human body, in various disguises of dejection and exaltation, was a primary theme in devotional and medical imagery. I therefore find the problematic resonance of figurative representation irresistible. For this reason my drawings explore both the physical and the metaphysical body, which is to say the body as a mythological certainty. I equally find the fundamental deception inherent in creating illusionistic images on a flat surface compelling. These graphite and metal leaf drawings explore and parallel both these concerns.

These drawings portray the mythical through the physical by exploring and exposing the inside and outside of the body. In the spirit of Carl Jung’s belief that the human body contained the memory of all creation, these essentially figurative works meld the microcosm with the macrocosm in order to discover the intersection between the mundane and the supermundane. Evidence of this physical fact, of the physical mythical is manifested in the synthesis of the profane and the sublime, as connections are drawn between such different particulars as an x-ray, a spiral of stellar dust, the pulse of a heartbeat, the precision of the Fibonaci curve, the abstraction of a silver thumbprint, or in a leap eternally frozen in the representational art.

My works explore the human form in a myriad incarnations; as remembered experience, as scientific certainty, and as imagined realm. They recall a preoccupation with the devotional and medical images that absorbed my formative years. When I was growing up, the inscrutable metaphors that mark figuration sparked my imagination. Now, they fuel my art.


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Copyright 2002 Tatiana Garmendia

Produced by Will Pickering with Tatiana Garmendia