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As a visual artist, Jaajr delves into the intricate connections between the self, time, and the continuous change of the universe. Through a practice-based approach that revolves around the exploration of materials and the art of making, she seeks to unravel the mysteries of existence and translate them into works that challenge the boundaries of traditional art forms.

By immersing themselves in the creative process, Jaajr's art seeks to bridge the gap between the tangible and the intangible, inviting viewers to contemplate the interconnectedness of all things and the fluid nature of the universe.


✹ Artist research - look, think then look again
5th February 2021
In this week’s artist research I’m exploring the dialogue of Gisela Colon more deeply - from the previous blog on her works, I was mostly writing about the process of her practice. But this time we will go through some more of the thinking process - which artists have influence on her work? What is the context within it? And most importantly - how, why and where did she pull out the concept of time and energy from?

the pod by Gisela Colon

Colon has described her work as an ‘organic minimalism’ which is the new idea of minimalism movement - while previously the artists always used geometric form to imply the rigidity of the concept , no life-like quality. Here in Colon’s practice - she tries to develop her own language by using organic form and fluid colours to imply the changes of life and universe which is the constant of nature.

The idea of life, universe and nature, she explained, has been seeded in her mind since she was young - by living in Puerto Rico where the city and sea are juxtaposed in the location and the sense of peacefulness of the nature and the chaotic of the capitalist. She had been growing up closely to mountain, forest and beach by that she has absorbed the sense of life source and energy and it appears in the concept of her work later. Moreover by moving into different locations later in her life reminded her of the diversity of the earth and her mortality and the appreciation of her life in the world. Even thought she had never studied in the traditional education in Art but in the early stage of life she had been painting a lot with her mother, after studied law and worked as a lawyer a few years in LA - she retuned to the art world again and pursued making arts with the influences from various sources of inspiration - nature, science, architecture and many artists - especially in minimalism movement.

Her used of fluid colours are inspired by the change of the sky and astronomy - milky way, stars and solar system. The form of organic shape would be influenced by the love of looking at the microscope when she was young. As she had mentioned many times before - she likes to play with the idea of juxtaposition - looking up to the universe and looking down inside the cell, the concept of rigidity from minimalism and the kinaesthetic quality interior of her work, the industrial material and the organic forming method in making and many more.

Fluid colours, the most obvious quality of her work, is the way the art pieces interact with the viewer’s eyes.When the viewer experiences the observation to the art work they become aware of their physical existence in the presence as they move around the sculpture the colour changes accordingly. Unfortunately I’ve never seen Colon’s work in real life - I wish I could one day. But from the video - the artwork respond to the changes of viewer position by changing their colours unpredictably. The range of iridescent colour of her work appear to be one of the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen. Beside the shape of the sculptures, their continuative mutation of the colours give them more organic quality. As well as the form within form that provide the sense of inner world that allure the audience the get lost into the interior life rather than looking out to the external world. Yet at the same time it reminds us to the outer space and the sense of futuristic - indeed I think her works are marvellous in many ways.

Colon has been mentioning to the influence from Donal Judd’s work to her own practice in many interviews. While Colon’s works rely on the shape of organic form. Judd’s works are implying to the geometrical form in the way to apply the principle of minimalism movement. Judd’s work mostly focus on the shape, form and material that don’t refer to something else - only to appreciate the presence of the work in that current moment.

Donald Judd, untitled, 1980, Douglas fir plywood, 144 × 960 × 48

At first when I was introduced to Donald Judd by Colon’s interview - I was intrigued by the fact that Judd’s works seem to be so simple, so solid and rigid to me. It was some kind of boxes made out of wood and steal - ‘that’s all?’ I thought. ‘But why he become most of the well known minimalism artist by putting boxes in the gallery?’ Questions after questions had popped up in my head.

After researching on the way he thought and his concept - I found that the context of his work has reassured the first feeling that I had towards his work in the first place - it is what he intended to provide.

(L) Untitled, 1989 (M) Untitled, 1989 (R) Untitled, 1963 by Donald Judd

The connection of Judd and Colon work is shown in the relationship between the viewer position and the art piece itself. While Colon implies this idea through the reflective and translucent finishing, Judd played with this idea through the dimension of the geometrical form and seduce the audience by their curiosity - ‘to make them look, think and then look again’

Also, because Judd and Colon are ones of the artist that call themselves a minimalism - they both get rid of the philosophical context - the audience will not experience narrative aspect when see their work, it only requires attention to its own self. Yet - what I feel towards Colon’s work is different. As her work is more organic - it refers to life and energy. And the richness of the the colour refer to the universe and futuristic. While I look in Colon’s work and get lost into it, Judd’s give me the sense of awareness - to sit outside and just knowing this is the work and being there with it, think about it in that presence.

100 untitled works in mill aluminum , 1982-1986 by Donald Judd

In the later pieces of Judd’s work he adapted reflective finishing into his work to invite the audience to be part of his context. Colon had mentioned that the Donald Judd’s 100 untitled works in mill aluminums has a huge impact on her context as it emphasis the idea of the object interaction with the outside environment to her. By reflective appearance and the response it gave when viewer move around or the light changes during the day - it gives her the idea of time and the fluctuation of light energy.

By that idea she started focusing on making mutable object that play with light and the environment around it which gives it the kinaesthetic quality - I am touched with this idea whereas the art itself doesn’t move yet it presents this quality to human’s perception by tricking the eye’s of the viewer. As I still trying to figure out how my final out come will be - this idea would be interesting to be looked at in the later stage of researching. I think I can adapt it with the reflective material as Judd and Colon did - or not, it will be considered later on.

(L) Untitled,1967 (R) Untitled,1968

Other artist that Colon has mentioned to such as Craig Kauffman is interesting as well, by the similar outcome with reflective finishing - I would research more on the ‘finish fetish’ movement as it is also one of the art movement Gisela is claimed to be in. As well as light and space movement and the subject of visual perception which I get drawn to by the fact that Judd had played with this idea as well. Olafur Elisson, Robert Irwin and Carlos Cruz-Diez are also mentioned in some of her interview.

From this reflective journal, I found the research gave me clearer vision on how one idea can be develop in further direction as Colon has developed the idea of the interaction of viewer position and the art piece from Donald Judd’s work. I am also intrigued by the idea of appreciation of the presence of the art that minimalism provides.

As I have gained a lot more understanding on Colon and Judd’s thinking process and the initial idea of the use of reflective material - I’m wondering how can reflective material can provide and be in different aspect? As I want to imply the idea of the fluctuation of the material as they did but at the same time I don’t want my final outcome to refer to someone’s else.