The Poetic Sign- Gaby Oshiro

The Poetic Sign

by Gaby Oshiro

Opens March 1st, 5-9 pm
Artist Talk: March 19th, 5:30
On display through March 29th


Modernism proposed that painting/sculpture could be much more than a relatively simple reproduction of visual appearances. This concept resonates with Aristotle’s theory about the importance in understanding the true purpose of artistic expression. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”.

Henri Matisse’s assertion echoes this sentiment: “In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope”.  As early as 1908, Western painting freed itself from the desire to represent visual appearances with Cubism, breaking the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. Finally in the late 1940’s the last chains fell off of an aesthetic composition dating at least from the Renaissance.

My interest in languages and the etymology of words, made me curious to know the origin of kanji. I have found books about these Chinese signs called Oracle Bone script/ Dragon script, that were part of an ancient writing system lost in time, and rediscovered 3000 years later around 1895. These primordial symbols connect us with the past, and are a visceral connection part of the collective memory. To me, they have a lyrical quality belonging to my Japanese roots and it’s the reason why I incorporate them to my visual vocabulary. A work of art without substance and reasoning is only an empty vessel, like a body without a soul.

Closer to the sensibility of Art Informel/Arte Informale, these symbols undergo reinvention, deconstruction, and multiplication, adhering to a rhythmic composition following an invisible grid or pattern with variations of color, creating a visual song.  These characters are also used as a module and they exist in relation to others, they communicate intentional and unintentional meaning or feelings facilitating a universal interpretation of a private language.

Painting is a visual language, a way to express and communicate what is under the surface and reveals the painter’s inner truths, transforming the invisible into visible. The paintings do not answer completely to the message of the painter, rather, the art becomes the catalyst for introspection. Individuals uncover their own significance depending on their experiences and philosophies of life. A painting is a meditative element is a visual poem/haiku that invited the interlocutor to isolate from noise and have a one on one conversation.


About the Artist:

Gaby Oshiro painter/musician was born in Buenos Aires Argentina to Edvige Bresolin, a photographer and pianist, and Oscar Takashi Oshiro, a political activist and lawyer, who was desaparecido (kidnapped and murdered) for opposing the military dictatorship in Argentina. When it became clear her father would not return alive, Gaby emigrated to Italy along with her mother and brother, where she studied for 5 years at the Liceo Artistico Statale di Treviso. After fine arts school in Italy, she attended Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Ernesto de la Cárcova in Argentina where she studied with Guggenheim fellow Carlos Gorriarena.  In 2016 Gaby collaborated with writer/journalist Andrés Asato on his book about the 17 Desaparecidos of Japanese descent (Nikkei), helping him write the chapter about her father entitled "Con Alma Tanguera.”  Following the publication of the book, she was invited to do an art installation called Kintsugi about the 17 desaparecidos Nikkei at the Espacio Cultural of the National Library of Congress in Argentina.  Kintsugi, the Presence of your Absence-Part II, was presented at the Galleria dell'Artistico in Treviso Italy, and at the CMA Centro Municipal de Arte in Buenos Aires.  Gaby has received multiple awards and accolades for her work to include being a finalist for the prestigious Bienal Sur 2017 and the Artisan Series Bombay Sapphire Prize.  After working on portraiture for many years, Gaby’s current work is exploring the use of Oracle Bone script (Japanese/Chinese ancient characters) as modules inspired by the Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism guided by Robert Motherwell, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Carla Accardi.