Victoria F. Gaitán's Human Meat Puppets, Art Basel Miami

December 09, 2013


Victoria F. Gaitán uses human meat puppets in flesh and blood still lifes. We came across her work out at Art Basel Miami this past weekend, with Mayer Fine Art.  The images are calling-cards from explorations of internal worlds, illness, in-between states, shared delusions and hells, stillness, memory, interpretations of pain, private and public intimacies, trauma, beauty, conditioned responses and gender and race in relation to objectification and ornamentation.

Characterized by an over-abundance of earthly delights often found in Flemish Baroque Golden Age still life paintings, the images depict the rich colors and textures of food overflowing on the table and from the mouths of the female subject. Gaitán juxtaposes a plethora of alluring earthly treats with a morbid reminder of their ephemeral nature. She conjures an insistent but unattainable desire, a feeling enmeshed with the eating disorders these photographs also call to mind. Gaitán’s women appear compelled to binge, smeared with the sugary goo they are consuming to excess. They are confrontational in their performative awareness; their expressive eyes meet our own amidst the beautiful wreckage of indulgence and ornament. Still, despite this explicit point of contact, we are uncertain whether the women are confident exhibitionists or pleading victims.”

—Andrea Pollan, Director of Curator’s Office, Washington DC.
Exhibition essay for Foto Baroque: Victoria F. Gaitán & Cecilia Paredes