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Fairest of the Seasons

Nina Garibay

February 10, 2024 - March 2, 2024

Press Release

Fairest of the Seasons

"Now that I see
Now that I finally found the one thing I denied
It's now I know, do I stay or do I go?
And it is finally I decide
That I'll be leaving in the fairest of the seasons.”
-Nico, The Fairest of the Seasons

In the relentless and isolating complexity of contemporary life, Nina Garibay, like many of her millennial and younger counterparts, has navigated her way through self-crafted coping mechanisms to endure the fast-paced challenges of existence. Finding solace and a momentary escape in her creative process—meticulously cutting and pasting magazine pages into sanitized compositions—she appropriates the illusions of glamour to distill a sense of peace of mind.

In her current reflection on maturity and growth, Nina discovers a fitting metaphor in the cycles of planting, blooming, and decay manifested in her latest series of oil paintings. Titled Fairest of the Seasons after Nico’s eponymous song, the exhibit reveals Nina’s appreciation of the genuine growth that arises from wholeheartedly embracing and immersing oneself in the changing seasons of life. Choosing to embody the archetypal Fool leaping into the unknown, akin to the bathing-clad figures in It’s Time, she attempts to capture the beauty found in transient imperfection and the offering of oneself to the natural progression of existence, embodied in the fresh green background and the open-armed figure in Welcome.

But beneath the curated picturesque compositions, one senses an underlying plea for freedom—an earnest yearning for open fields while confined within paper-cut molds. It is a plea to transcend self-imposed inertia—cutting and pasting paper collages that outline an escape plan or constructing a bedroom shrine for a personal god on a new-age manifestation board.

Once revered as gods shaping both the inner and outer lives of communities, seasons in contemporary times are relegated to tracking the lifespan of trends, indicating when to change one’s wardrobe (Shiver, Burning Bush). More than reinterpretations of still life and landscape paintings, Nina’s concept of fairness (beauty) is an appeal for righteous order—a plea to be dealt what she deems fair and just: an open field, peace, freedom from complications or constraints. However, much like the magazine pages from which these ideas are extracted, they are ultimately limited and alienated from context.

Trapped in the eternal present, the seasons fail to impart their wisdom, resilience, and healing to this distracted generation. Nina reflects on a culture of superficiality and disconnection, lamenting and aspiring to transcend this vacuum of identity. She yearns to gain a deeper grasp and a sense of footing (Arrival), a broader perspective beyond the glossy surfaces of magazine pages or cell phone screens, aspiring to touch real grass on the other side of virtual reality.

Through paper-thin studies, the artist meticulously cuts, as if inscribing the details of a silent manifesto—a quiet discontent amidst perfected images. "I want. To be. Free.”

Alee Garibay

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