Artist talk with Gabrielle Graessle
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'An they lived happily ever after', 2020

Acrylic, spray and glitter

180 x 130 cm

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Gabrielle Graessle, I was born in Zürich, Switzerland. I studied at the art school ZHDK for 5 years and obtained a degree in graphic design. I had my first exhibitions while still studying art, at this time, mostly with drawings. Later on, at the beginning of 2000 my partner and I moved, first to France and later on to Spain. I left the art business, and we began to buy and renovate old houses and ruins in order to sell them later on. That became a passion and we loved life, moving around with our construction projects. During this time, diary-like drawings were created. In 2015 we settled down in Spain and I made the decision to work intensively again and to immerse myself in my own work.

My medium is painting, large format pictures, 180 x 130 cm. or 180 x 260.

Where did your passion for art begin?

My parents were both working in the drogerie parfumerie shop of my father. This gave me a lot of independence and freedom. At 3 my mother gave me my first pencils. Also in kindergarten I preferred to paint and not to play with the other girls or with the dolls. When I was about 4 or 5 my mother had a book about Paul Klee and I was fascinated to look at these simple pictures. At that moment I didn’t know that these drawings were from a well known artist. For me it was only funny to copy them. One I preferred more then the others- the picture’s name was The Forgetful Angel, Der Vergessliche Engel. But I loved all of them. I have still this book. Then I was very interested in comics, the ones with not too much text. I loved them more than the others. Later when I was a little bit older I loved a lot Matisse, for his colours, and his simplicity. Music was also very important at home. My father was a jazz fan and bought me a turntable when I was 7 years old. Music is still very important when I am working.

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'Baby baby balla balla', 2021 

Acrylic, spray and oil stick 

180 x 260 cm (two parts)

How would you describe your work to someone?

My work is figurative and often very colourful and kitsch .If I get stuck with a picture I also fall back on more abstract moments. I like it when I am blocked with a painting, just playing with colours and shapes and forms. Basically, however, I would like to convey something concrete, which can be freely interpreted by the viewer.

What are you currently working on? 

I work on everything and nothing at the same time and often on 6 to 8 paintings.. I love to rearrange the paintings in order to influence themselves. this is how new stories emerge ... not always but often. I never work on a fixed topic, that would bore me. I let myself drift into my paintings and follow them and am often surprised when the painting is finished.

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'Yee-haw', 2020 

Acrylic, spray and glitter

180 x 260 cm (two parts)

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you're going to create or do you improvise? 

When I am drawing the process is important. It gives me the freedom to move, act without a goal. I may start with an idea. It can then take on a life of its own, go somewhere else entirely. I draw without thinking, pin the drawing on the wall and no longer look at it. Then the next one goes on like this. The wall may get full, or it goes on the next day or after a week. That determines the desire to draw. The drawings are not looking for a result. For painting I often use a drawing

from my fund as a basis. When I paint, I start with an idea, which takes on a life of its own during the painting process If I do not achieve the result it can also be that I destroy the painting and paint over and then a new process begins on the painting without knowing where to go. But when I am painting I prefer the first form.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I am fascinated by the diversity which there is to discover. I like so many things. Art is simply the greatest thing. I love Jeff Koons, Joe Bradley, Chris Martin, Rose Wylie, and a lot lot more, no place here to write them down all… We live in a time in which we are bombarded by visual impressions and all these influences, tv, film, fashion, instagram, photos, pictures simply everything comes back to expression at some point in a creative process in the form of drawings or paintings.

What are your plans for the remainder of this year? Revise my website. this has not been refreshed and updated for 2 years since I posted on instagram. In summer I take part in 2 group exhibitions, one in Mykonos and the other in Barcelona, at the moment I'm stretching and packing 9 large canvases for a collector in Sweden.…..yes and surely paint, paint and paint.

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'l amour est un oiseau rebelle',  2021

Acrylic, spray

180 x 260 cm (two parts)