Jaime Gili (1972 - )

    Last updated: 1 April 2005


    One of the "desires" I talk about is already between inverted commas, sitting in society in the first place, in the slick forms of the cars they want to sell to us as symbols of a social status. That is an aspect that I want to question by confronting it with my reality, the one that directly surrounds me. People in the garage next door are often painting real car doors, using materials similar to my own. Their workshops change day by day as mine does, as they are constantly dis/assembling cars. That is another desire: to know what they know, to become them. Since Mr. Ford's first assembly line, Western societies have been shaped on too many levels by everything related to transportation. My work would relate rather to the scrap yard of this economic history and its opposing shiny surface: a layer full of advertisements, stickers and customised number plates, linking nationalism and identity around the pure surface of car paint. On the other hand, my series never denies an enjoyment of paint and the beauty of a shiny surface. This is perhaps the most real desire that I try to set free in my work.

    Excerpt from an interview with Irene Amare and Eduardo Padilha. Published in trans-barroso (London: Century Gallery/ACAVA, 2002)



    Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Jaime Gili completed a degree in Fine Art at the University of Barcelona and came to England in 1996 to complete an MA (Painting) at the Royal College of Art in London, the city where he now lives and works. Gili took part in East International in 1999, and since that time he has been involved in successive group and solo exhibitions and residencies, in England and internationally. He has also curated two group shows in London: 'superposed' (2001) and 'nineteenthirtysix' (2005).

    The first major solo exhibition of Gili's work took place at the Jerwood Space in 2003. The works included in this show, which was entitled 'rupt', represented three interests: speed, repetition (a subject explored in his doctoral thesis 'from recurrence to multiplication') and auto-mobility. Within modern social norms, these three aspects are brought together in the form of the car, and Gili has produced consecutive, interconnected series of works that tease out various aspects (aesthetic, personal and political) contained in those shiny compartments that many adults spend much of their time inside.

    Gili's work is characterised by its threads and interconnections. The artist follows each link as it arises, keeping many projects open and ongoing. As well as producing series of paintings, which suggest the automobile via carefully selected fragments transformed into semi abstract shapes and forms, Gili has exhibited cropped photographs of car plates and bumper stickers, representing cars that in turn represent different nationalities.

    Isobel Whitelegg

    1 April 2005

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