Interview with Gabriela MaskreyGabriela is an artist and graphic designer born in London and raised in Lima.
Dani: Gabriela can you please tell me about your studies?
Gabriela: I didn’t study art, I studied Architecture in Edinburgh, but I’ve painted since little because my grandmother was an art teacher in elementary school so she was the one who taught me. After my degree in Architecture I graduated with a master’s degree in Editorial design in the school of Elisava in Barcelona. I really liked books. So basically painting came out of nowhere, specially when I was in Perú and I was not enjoying myself there, so that’s when I started painting more and more.
D: And what is your practice based on?
G: My work in art has always been quite graphic, a very good friend, taught me how to paint palm trees and when I went to live in Perú it was like an injection of greens and organic elements. My work is a lot about repetition, I try one thing and then repeat that for multiple times, as in color, shapes and techinque, so these big series I do happen because I start playing with one color, for example, and when I feel I’m done with that color I jump to the next one and so on.
D: So would you say that the main element in your series would be the shapes and the techinque and color keep varying as you advance?
G: Yes, the color, techique and and the materials that I use. I like to see what happens when I repeat an exercise several times at a specific moment. I also work by layers, I like to see how many layers the paper allows me to add while I let the color dry in the sun.
D: So how did you start your career as an artist exactly?
G: When I was in my studio in Lima I made a series of 73 “faces” with acrylic and paperboard which where just laying there, so one day when I was in a meeting with one of my clients at the studio he asked me about this series and convinced me to exhibit in ICPNA gallery in Lima, so that’s when people saw my art works for the first time and started to express interest in buying them. It was a 48 hours exhibition.
D: Can you tell me about any art references that have influenced you in doing your works?
G: Definitely the way Picasso used to work, impulsive, trying on every diferent materials and I feel very identified with that energy, Sofia DeLauni’s exhibition at TATE Museum and how her work was very graphic and architectural, the way she employed repetition and patterns with textile I also feel connected to, Gian Gertsberg and Tola with her shapes and colors.
D: Do you think that growing up in Perú or even latin America has influences your work?
G: No doubt that surrounding myself with people like my mom, who has a very electric spirit and my grandmother who is always smiling at life and care to have a good time have been quite influential.
D: Do you believe your work has an impact on the people that know about it?
G: I think so, since most of my friends have one of my works at their homes, I love the idea of being able to decorate their spaces and take them back into simplicity. I enjoy being liked and make people happy in a very simple way.
D: Can you tell me about your biggest “achievement” in your art career?
G: Being here. I had never been with a gallery and when these doors opened to me I was in shock. The fact to be given a space to paint and hang my stuff in the walls, seeing the results of what I’m doing seems amazing to me.
Gabriela in her studio at JO-HS. 2022