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Artist Hilda Palafox Coaxes Emotional Depth from Bodily Contortions and Skewed Sizes
July 11, 2023
“A woman’s braid, for me, has a very powerful meaning,” says Hilda Palafox. “It symbolizes the fact of connecting, building, recognizing, changing, and strengthening. And I consider the act of braiding as something very intimate, very personal, and universal at the same time.”
Women convening, considering the size and shape of their forms, or engaging in solitary pursuits are common in Palafox’s works: one figure climbs a ladder sprouting new plant life, others precariously balance bowls on their limbs, and another bends over toward her toes, a table bound to her back with bright red rope.
Primarily working in oil paint on large-scale canvases, the Mexico City-based artist imagines a matriarchal world in which women are free to explore the inner reaches of their psyches and are stronger together. Their long, substantial limbs, large hands, and supple curves are repositories for Palafox’s interests. “I have always thought of the body as a vessel through which we experience the world and emotions and through which we express ourselves and manifest life,” she shares. “I seek to convey certain concerns that travel from a very personal place to a point of universal connection.”
Influenced by her background in graphic design, Palafox’s textured paintings are intuitive and created stroke by stroke, echoing the act of braiding hair strand by strand. “That is very important to me, and that is also why I like simple, clean compositions with some hints of symbolism, where the body language of these beings are the main character and where a door can also be opened for the viewer to finish building the narrative,” she says.
Palafox is represented by Proyectos Monclova, and you can find more of her works on both canvas and walls on Instagram.
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