I.F.A.G.

Freedom

Mariela Garibay

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Bronze
54x36x30 CM
21.25x14.17x11.81 IN
This work is part of a limited edition set.
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The work of sculptor Mariela Garibay, in addition to the mastery with which the author chisels each contour of the rounded and, in a certain way, voluptuous bodies, (like everything that is generous in shape and is meant to be felt — one should always be able to touch sculpture! —) always evokes two unmistakable sensations: freedom and the search for the absolute. There is no doubt that her bronze statues are incredibly naïve, loving beings. But theirs is not a silly naivety that comes from being inexperienced in life, but a naivety that represents the opposite: a kind of ancient naivety that comes with freedom and is nourished by it. Like the naïve citizens of the Roman Empire, the ones who, unlike the freedmen (who had to fight for it), were born free. That sense of total freedom from birth, that awareness of being free, is what Mariela Garibay's bronzes always inspire in me. Free to play, to lie down, to hug, to ride a scooter, free to raise their hands gazing up at the sky... Free to wear any colour of patina without ceasing to be themselves, just like someone who ignores the dress code at a party because they'd rather dress as themselves than wear an imposed disguise; free to not let themselves be tyrannised by current norms of stylised corporeality, living outside of temporary or classical aesthetic canons; free to be who they are without trying to transgress anything. That freedom of simply being, that primeval naivety of Roman times, is the first feeling the author's sculptures always inspire in me. The second sensation her sculptures convey to me is the search for the absolute. Not only in the search for technical perfection, in the round finish (pun intended) of the final result (is there any shape that represents absoluteness more than a circle?). No... it is a deeper, more obscure feeling, one that should be looked for not only in the outward appearance of these uncomplicated and free voluminous bodies but also within them, as if we wanted to peer inside them, listen to their thoughts, as if we wanted to unravel their soul. The figures (sometimes very large) with outstretched arms that look upwards towards the sky are the ones that really stand out to me. What are they looking for? What do they want? They are free and as such, they feel, but it is as if they know that, at the end of the day, that isn't enough. There is an exclamation, an interpellation in these figures, even though they have total freedom. They are naïve because they are free but they are not outsiders and, deep down, they know that one person's freedom is not enough if it is not also shared by others. Catherine of Siena, a freewoman, used to ask herself, ‘What is the use of saving myself if no one else saves themselves?’ The vision of these bronzes, large and free, raising their hands and gazing upwards, towards the sky, towards the universe, is like a modern version of that medieval Italian saint's inner search, and it's as if they are also asking themselves, ‘What good is being free if no one else is?’ And so, behind the visual, tactile and naïve work of Mariela Garibay, I always pick up on an honest search for freedom that goes beyond mere personal freedom to the search for collective freedom, as well as a deep existential and humanistic anxiety. Guillermo Sabatés
The work of sculptor Mariela Garibay, in addition to the mastery with which the author chisels each contour of the rounded and, in a certain way, voluptuous bodies, (like everything that is generous in shape and is meant to be felt — one should always be able to touch sculpture! —) always evokes two unmistakable sensations: freedom and the search for the absolute. There is no doubt that her bronze statues are incredibly naïve, loving beings. But theirs is not a silly naivety that comes from being inexperienced in life, but a naivety that represents the opposite: a kind of ancient naivety that comes with freedom and is nourished by it. Like the naïve citizens of the Roman Empire, the ones who, unlike the freedmen (who had to fight for it), were born free. That sense of total freedom from birth, that awareness of being free, is what Mariela Garibay's bronzes always inspire in me. Free to play, to lie down, to hug, to ride a scooter, free to raise their hands gazing up at the sky... Free to wear any colour of patina without ceasing to be themselves, just like someone who ignores the dress code at a party because they'd rather dress as themselves than wear an imposed disguise; free to not let themselves be tyrannised by current norms of stylised corporeality, living outside of temporary or classical aesthetic canons; free to be who they are without trying to transgress anything. That freedom of simply being, that primeval naivety of Roman times, is the first feeling the author's sculptures always inspire in me. The second sensation her sculptures convey to me is the search for the absolute. Not only in the search for technical perfection, in the round finish (pun intended) of the final result (is there any shape that represents absoluteness more than a circle?). No... it is a deeper, more obscure feeling, one that should be looked for not only in the outward appearance of these uncomplicated and free voluminous bodies but also within them, as if we wanted to peer inside them, listen to their thoughts, as if we wanted to unravel their soul. The figures (sometimes very large) with outstretched arms that look upwards towards the sky are the ones that really stand out to me. What are they looking for? What do they want? They are free and as such, they feel, but it is as if they know that, at the end of the day, that isn't enough. There is an exclamation, an interpellation in these figures, even though they have total freedom. They are naïve because they are free but they are not outsiders and, deep down, they know that one person's freedom is not enough if it is not also shared by others. Catherine of Siena, a freewoman, used to ask herself, ‘What is the use of saving myself if no one else saves themselves?’ The vision of these bronzes, large and free, raising their hands and gazing upwards, towards the sky, towards the universe, is like a modern version of that medieval Italian saint's inner search, and it's as if they are also asking themselves, ‘What good is being free if no one else is?’ And so, behind the visual, tactile and naïve work of Mariela Garibay, I always pick up on an honest search for freedom that goes beyond mere personal freedom to the search for collective freedom, as well as a deep existential and humanistic anxiety. Guillermo Sabatés