Paloma Crousillat (1980 - )

    Last updated: 1 April 2005


    My work is about space and our relation to it. Although I use literal imagery, I am not interested in depiction; my art reflects the experience and awareness of place. In paintings I juxtapose oil and acrylic to create flatness and depth that simultaneously destruct and create space. Repetitive patterns often dominate the surface of the work, interacting with layers of paint. From these two dimensional images evolve three dimensional objects and spaces. These physical and conceptual layers play backwards and forwards between themselves in a constant dialogue involving physical perception and the illusions of memory.


    My current series, Freedoms and Failures, is about success and the loss that comes with it. Drawing from my urban experiences and the growing unease in present society, the paintings and sculptures portray these internal conversations - of doubt and helplessness - through the lens of Nature, tamed and harnessed by the pursuit of freedom and happiness.


    Paloma Crousillat was born in Lima, Peru; her father is Peruvian (from French and Spanish extraction) and Crousillat describes her mother as '...English, born in Argentina'. Crousillat is adamant that national identity is irrelevant in Latin American art, yet she does agree that her own perceived lack of identity affects the way in which she experiences the world. In 1987 her family left Peru, a move mainly due to the dangerous environment created by extreme left wing terrorist groups. The family moved to Washington DC and Paloma went straight from her High School diploma to the Slade School of Fine Art in England, graduating in 2002.

    Crousillat was exposed to a variety of styles of art as she grew up and has stated that both her parents and her country of birth have had an inspirational role for her practice. As an artist her view is inspired by the shock juxtaposition of visual languages: 'rich and poor, west and non-west, capitalist and developing'. In terms of this contrast she refers to Andean culture, Catholicism and Western consumerism; she has used Baudrillard's terms (Figures of the Transpolitical, 1990) to describe these violent differences, where under the strain of extreme contrast images become stripped of their original meaning.

    Forming the foundation for her visual language is a view that advocates construction of new fantasies in the place of a reality destroyed by crippling inequity. Thus her work is not a negative depiction; it is an opportunity to deconstruct old meanings and reconstruct new fantasies, a new place that she terms the 'epic-fabulous'.

    Crousillat is currently resident in New York and is working not just as a painter but also on site-specific installations including painting, photography, video, dance, performance and situations.

    Rebecca Wills

    1 April 2005

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