Claire Becker | “When my hands speak with the mud, my soul speaks with God”

Born in Paris and residing in Mexico, started in dance, working for 10 years perfecting herself in New York with a scholarship. Painting for her was, complimentary –in her journey-, a secondary artistic performance, always present; sculpture being the last door she discovered (opened) in her last years at NYC. In this, she found a tool with more freedom of expression to explore topics or ‘essential themes’ such as the return of the human being to its essence. In INVOLUTATI, the explores ‘pure sculpture’, without tricks, masks or new technologies, stressing intuition and spontaneity to her sculptures.

Claire has been awarded internationally with prizes, important scholarships and has been part of more than 100 exhibits and international fairs, including La Biennale di Venezia 2009. Below, she’ll explain a little more about her work…

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De la serie INVOLUTATI, “MD XV, Altivez”, 2016, fibra de vidrio pulida, 50 x 28 x 32 cm.
De la serie INVOLUTATI, “MD XV, Altivez”, 2016, fibra de vidrio pulida, 50 x 28 x 32 cm.

How would you describe the creative process of your work, since the first interaction of your hands with the mud until a clean, harmonic and studied result? What’s on your mind while you create these shapes?

I start touching the materials with an almost visceral manner, with naked hands, without tools. When interesting and dynamic forms arise, I start a long work of study of the forms, to highlight contrasts, create harmonies with the echoing shadows, refining the lines that hold the potential to transfer emotion. All of this without losing focus of every angle you could look at the piece, this allows it to ‘spread out’ in the space, then it spreads out in time, because every line and volume has a continuity and movement sensation, even if the works are sold and static.

For the forms to reveal themselves in a game of lights and shadows and in the end finding a unity, many months of work may go by. Now, my eyes are my main tool and while the forms are feeling observed, they speak to me. I always work with a notebook on the side and silence inside, because I must be alert and prepared. Then, little by little, I understand what has come out of me through these forms, and they return me this understanding through words. It sounds a little mystical and that’s ok because that’s fine with me and I hope some of this is conveyed through the pieces.

How much has the experience of being involved and being part of different cultures influenced or shaped your art?

It has influenced my life experience, in my horizon of expectancy and my ability to understand. Certainty, in my capacity of being able to love more and judge less, to understand what makes us different and what makes us alike. Therefore, it also has influenced my work in many ways. For example, in the pieces of the series INVOLUTATI, there’s reminiscence almost unconscious of some archetypes and artistic styles representative of different times and cultures, such as Baroque, Art Deco, Futurism, Pop Art, etc. However, the most important has been dedicating time to understand, digest and grow; identify the essential motivations and universal themes, as a string that goes through many fabrics and joins them into a beautiful dress.

How would you describe the evolution of your work: from a more conceptual art, with a great format and a hallmark of ironic humor into a more abstract, more sensual and hard to describe pieces, as seen in INVOLUTATI?

Actually, I’ve always worked in sculpting with these two sides. A point of view, the most conceptual, comes from being always criticizing our society from trying to makes us believe what happiness is. All of my pieces are aiming to criticize if what we do and what we think truly gives us true happiness, or if we lose our essence in the way. The other point of view, the most ‘immediate’, less descriptive and intellectual, tries to find and rescue me of that contradiction, that for the longest time has being a struggle within me: being material and spiritual at the same time. Because of this, it’s more abstract and poetic, because happiness is found on the inside and it’s personal, it cannot be forced upon you. This is where the two viewpoints cross: we can create the possibility of our potential happiness if we distance ourselves of the imposing society, that’s taking advantage of the general discomfort, and if we are truly brave, to scratch the shadow behind the mask which at the time was protecting us. There, we will retrieve the crucial and essential of us. It’s a long process and sometimes painful, but crucial in our evolution and my work changes according to the stages of my own process. INVOLUTATI it’s a synthesis of this process understood as universal. The silhouettes involved that are foreseen in the pieces, like the visible souls for their material wrapping, are the motives for sharing the moods inhabited by human beings, optimism, submission, resistance, guilt, arrogance, regret, surrender, of being material ‘needed’ into being mentally ‘selfish and spiritually ‘achieved’.

Describe your work in INVOLUTATI on one word.

INVOLUTATI may be this keyword: apparently abstract, with mythical resonance, referring to the involuntary, allowing unexpected things to happen, the ‘involution’ as the evolution into the self, and referencing leitmotiv of the ‘scrolls’ as ascending forms and capricious of the smoke or the clouds miraculously dressing as characters in an instant. I found after choosing the word that in Latin means: “Wrapped with something flexible and thin”. I was in awe of the coincidence, I because I just chose the word by how it sounded.

De la serie INVOLUTATI, “MD X, Imperio”, 2015, fibra de vidrio pulida, 300 x 128 x 100 cm.
De la serie INVOLUTATI, “MD X, Imperio”, 2015, fibra de vidrio pulida, 300 x 128 x 100 cm.

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