Cristina Camacho

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What is my work about?

In my paintings I reimagine the materiality of the canvas. I push its logic to transform it into three-dimensional anthropomorphic and zoomorphic entities, personal narratives, architectural spaces and musical illustrations. As I cut the canvas, I create a duality between pictorial space and real space, where gravity, shadows, and color reflections evoke a physical and tactile experience. Without planning or sketching, I paint, cut, and juxtapose layers of multicolored stretched canvases. I dissect them to reveal hidden secrets. The process is always evident; my tracks remain for the viewer to see.

 

Artist Statement

I think of my paintings as if they were living selves. I do not create them; I discover them as I unpeel their layers. Digging each time deeper, I reveal the hidden secrets that rest inside their bodies.

The paintings have my height; they are bodies that demand to be treated as people. We have conversations as I dissect their skin. We dance when I move them around the studio. I often think the pieces have always existed somewhere, and it is not until I can recognize them that I know they are finished. Once they are discovered they don’t need me anymore.

The cut is always precise and intentional, and without being aggressive or disruptive, the pieces appear to be extremely symmetrical. The color pencil lines, always follow a set of geometric rules, and with the cut, these rules are disobeyed allowing the material to take control and therefore revealing its purity.

Each painting contains its own personal story. The narratives exist because the pieces bring them to life; the pieces guide me into what they want to become. Sometimes the pieces are ghosts from my past, where memories from my childhood morph into paintings. Woven March is a weaving of memories. It is about my mother teaching me how to cross-stitch, it is about the days I spent with my grandparents picking up yellow “guayabitas” – a Colombian fruit, and about those nights we caught fireflies in Rionegro and put them in a jar. This piece is a vessel that contains memories.

Other times, the pieces are characters that live in my mind and they just want to run away. They are inspired by the music I listen while I paint, and they are nourished by my daydreams. Other times they are simply animals and plants not yet discovered.

The stories, imagery, and personalities are constructed with each color, each cut, each move. Without planning or sketching, my paintings are always intuitive and looking closely into the work, there is a persistent evidence of the hand. As I create a duality between pictorial space and real space, my work engages in a phenomenological approach by defining the physical and temporal relationship of the viewer to the piece. All of the paintings are to be grasped in the experience of looking at them.

 

Education

2013-15
Columbia University, New York, NY
MFA Visual Arts

2010-12
Parsons New School of Design, New York, NY
Certificate in Fine Arts

2006-10
Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
BFA in Communication and Product Design, Minor in Fine Arts

Other Studies
2010-12     School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, Continuing Education

2011
Art Student League, New York, NY, Painting

2011-12
New York University, New York, NY, Continuing Education – Art History

 

Solo Exhibitions
2015
Upcoming: Bilateral Dissections, Praxis Gallery. New York, NY.

 

Selected Group Exhibitions
2015
Summer Show, Nancy Margolis Gallery. New York, NY.
Double Double Visions Visions, The Active Space. Curated by Chistian Berman. Bushwick, NY.
Dissections, West 10th Window. New York, NY.
MFA Thesis Show, Fisher Landau Center. Curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud. Long Island City, NY.
New Work, New York, St Nicks Alliance and Arts@Renaissance Curated by Kat Griefen. Brooklyn, NY.

2014
Spectral Haze Event Horizon, Blackston Gallery. Curated by James Case-Leal. New York, NY.
Second Year Open Studios, Columbia University. New York, NY
Networking Tips for Shy People, 200 Livingston. Brooklyn, NY.
First Year Show, Columbia University. Curated by Deborah Cullen. New York, NY

2013
First Year Open Studios, Columbia University. New York, NY

2012
Residency Open Studios: Deconstructed Self, School of Visual Arts. New York, NY
Residency Open Studios: Constructed Self, School of Visual Arts. New York, NY
Solo Show: Paintings and Collages on View, School of Visual Arts. New York, NY

2011
Open Studios: Lost in the Forest, School of Visual Arts. New York, NY
Open Studios: La Metamorfosis del Pez, School of Visual Arts. New York, NY

2010
Volarán: Los Sueños de Emma, Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá, Colombia.

2009
Andando: Vírgen Madre Mia, Universidad de los Andes. Bogotá, Colombia.

 

Awards and Fellowships
2015
Rema Hort Mann Foundation Nominee, New York, NY
Deans Travel Grant, Columbia University, New York, NY
Hayman Visual Arts Scholarship, Columbia University, New York, NY
Birren Scholarship, Columbia University, New York, NY
Teacher Assistant Fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY

2014
Visual Arts Scholarship, Columbia University, New York, NY
Film Scholarship, Columbia University, New York, NY
Teacher Assistant Fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY

2013
Visual Arts Scholarship, Columbia University, New York, NY
Teacher Assistant Fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY

2006
Honorary Degree, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

 

Residencies
2012
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
Summer Residency Program, Painting and Mixed Media.

2011
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
Summer Residency Program, Painting and Mixed Media.

 

Publications
2014
Cuts to Create: A Portrait of Cristina Camacho. Arts Culture Beat. Arts Culture. By Carmen G.Días.          December 21, 2014
http://artsculture.wpengine.com/cuts-to-create-a-portrait-of-cristina-camacho/

Studio Visits: Cristina Camacho. Insitu Works.
http://www.insituworks.com/blogs/studio-visits/15326609-cristina-camacho

 

Experience
2015
Teaching Assistant, Painting 1, Columbia University, New York, NY

2014
Teaching Assistant, Painting 1, Columbia University, New York, NY

2010-11
Artist Assistant, Pedro Cuni