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Art

#identity#Maria A. Guzmán Capron#sculpture#textiles

Maria A. Guzmán Capron’s Entwined Figures Emerge from Boldly Patterned Patchworks

January 31, 2024

Grace Ebert

a sculptural figure made of bright, patterned textiles. Her upper body is flat to the gallery wall while her legs spring outward and down to puffy feet with painted toenails

“No Soy Florero – Rosa” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 77 x 37 x variable inches. All images courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, shared with permission

In many ways, Maria A. Guzmán Capron’s practice is about embracing circularity. Using textiles gathered from discount stores, resale shops, and friends, Capron stitches stylized figures whose bodies emerge from entangled clusters of limbs or coquettishly pose against the gallery wall, inviting each viewer with a flirty smile.

Form and material dovetail, emphasizing the artist’s interest in change and regeneration. “The entwined body, by being connected to our inner selves and our communities, is one that loses definition and becomes extraordinary,” she says.

Born in Milan to parents of Peruvian and Colombian origins, Capron now lives and works in the Bay Area, a mélange of cultures reflected in her patchwork pieces. “Some patterns and colors I choose are an approximation of what I felt or I can remember of the fabric I saw in clothing or decor growing up in Italy or things I’ve seen at the markets when I visit my grandmother in Peru,” she says, adding that her local environment influences her, too. “In the studio, I mix it all together, and every time I see someone new emerging from my work.”

a wall work of two figures with short bobs. their backs are touching and they're holding hands, which are made with green fabric

“Me Veo en Ti” (2022), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 56 x 60 1/2 inches

While every character is original, each has a material connection to previous sculptures. “In the studio, I play around with what is new, but I am often compelled to include older pieces from my collection. Artworks made several years apart might have a fabric that unites them,” she shares. “My making process is based on problem-solving, and it feels like there are an infinite number of ways I could work with textiles to approach an idea.”

Although varied in color and texture and veiled in paint, the pieces in Capron’s No Soy Florero series are similarly constructed, their upper bodies flush to the wall with skinny legs and thick, pudgy feet planted on the floor. The artist considers the ways our mannerisms, language, and bodily gestures shift based on the situation and company, and she gravitates toward a fluid sense of self. The twinned characters in “Me Veo en Ti” also are nearly identical with tiger-striped limbs and faces. Subtle differences in their hair, noses, and expressions could reference variances in one person or similarities between two.

To add another dimension, Capron considers her works “incomplete outside of the moments in which they are viewed and experienced by another person,” an unfinished state she describes as indicating “an essential openness to change.”

She currently has work in two shows, one through May 5 at Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles and another through August 3 at El Espacio 23 in Miami. Find more on Instagram.

a detail image of two sculptural legs made of yellow patterned textiles. one foot is propped flat against the white gallery wall while the other stretches out with purple toenails

Detail of “No Soy Florero – Rosa” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 77 x 37 x variable inches

a sculptural figure made of bright, patterned textiles. Her gloved hands are raised to her mouth in shock. Her upper body is flat to the gallery wall while her legs spring outward and down to puffy feet with painted toenails

“No Soy Florero – Mentira” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 77 x 37 x variable inches

a detail of a sculptural figure made of bright, patterned textiles. Her gloved hands are raised to her mouth in shock.

Detail of “No Soy Florero – Mentira” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 77 x 37 x variable inches

a wall work made of bold patterned textiles. there are several entwined bodies in a circle, with limbs jutting out from various points

“Tengo Ojos Solo Para Ti” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 74 x 84 x 3 inches

a sculptural figure made of bright, patterned textiles. Her upper body is flat to the gallery wall while her legs spring outward and down to puffy feet with painted toenails

“No Soy Florero – Margarita” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 77 x 37 x variable inches

a wall work of three figures made of bold patterned fabric crouch and pose for the viewer

“Desátame” (2023), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and acrylic paint, 76 x 95 x 3 inches

a figurative wall sculpture of a woman with yellow and plaid skin wearing a blue sweater that's draped off her shoulder. she has curly dark hair and green lips

“Donna” (2022), fabric, thread, batting, stuffing, spray paint, and latex paint, 70 ½ x 34 x 2 ½ inches

#identity#Maria A. Guzmán Capron#sculpture#textiles

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