Gaia Nardie-Warner

Region: Midwest

Tantra: indulgence with awareness, vision without judgment––observant, not evaluative. I paint along this continuum. My works come from an engagement with the materiality of paint and the complexity of the expressive mark. They enter into a dialogue beyond their powers to represent. Using smears, scratches, scrapes, and copious amounts of paint, I compose visual interrogatories of cultural minutia: metallic flashes, fake eyelashes, yoga mats, coconut water, glossy magazines, platinum blonde hair, gold hoops, turquoise, worn leather, furs, and painted nails. Such cultural signifiers dictate my mark as I attempt to transform culture while remaining true to its basis. These paintings confront and expose sociopolitical connotations that are closeted by little details. My challenge to culture displaces its framework into the multifaceted language of gestural abstraction. Cultural identifiers are portals through which we may gain insight into our personal and societal secrets. Their investigation directs my interest in Guatemalan textiles, prayer rugs, kivas, Navajo sand paintings, mandalas, Shibori, Haitian voodoo dolls, Butoh, and Berber rugs. With paint I energize what, at first sight, seems lifeless.