Portraits, typography, and iconography are all mixed together in Gabriella Sanchez’s paintings. The Mexican-American artist uses her mixed cultural background as a source of inspiration for her paintings, which are themselves a mixture of themes and artistic styles.
The paintings themselves are rich with symbolism – conveying a sort of narrative that only a mindful onlooker can decipher. Aside from all that, her artwork is visually pleasing, using bright colors and bold typography. “At first, I was making stuff that was black and white and red, very serious art colors,” joked Sanchez in an interview with Inteligencia. “Then I started getting away from that and letting myself enjoy making art.”
“In my artwork, I balance the visual pleasure and the conceptual weight,” she went on to explain. “Before, I found I was making work that I felt wasn’t for my community; it wasn’t for my family to enjoy, it was talking to the community that I wasn’t a part of. And that can be really alienating. As a whole, the art world is very alienating to specific groups of people: people of color and people who, maybe, don’t have certain levels of education. So, I like that the layered meaning [in my art] is for people who are from my own community who aren’t necessarily the art world community.”
Treating her art as a form of communication, she draws from her own experiences, creating art that is both communicative and conceptual. “I always enjoyed doing paintings, but for whatever reason I wanted to do something that was totally new and at an experimental level,” she said. “I slowly realized that I could still do something that was experimental in painting through the messaging and through the way that I paint.”
Check out some of her experimental work in the gallery below.