I have known Gabriela Berest since 1996 when she came in to the gallery and we started talking about art and worldly affairs. I realized immediately that she would never paint anything that wasn't connected with the spirit of the time, and neither would she ever create a work of art at the risk of losing her identy just in order to tell a story.
The fact is, Gabriela continually keeps up to date with various painting techniques and photography. She uses different textures and materials, be it on canvas, or plywood or presents her work in the form of installation. It is important to her that all the elements she uses in her works of art are vivid, expressive and esthetic, they must appeal to the beholder in a direct and immediate way, leaving him with a deep impression. But all this endeavour would not mean anything if there was no determination to examine in depth a reality which a times is harsh, such as wars, the oil crisis, the madness of our times represented in the fall and the destruction of the Tower of Babel... issues l know she dedicated her artistic work to on previous occasions, and which had an impact on anyone looking at her works of art because of their successful combination of art and concept.
Jalon, the village where Berest has been living since a couple of years, and from where she has reiceived inspiration for her current work Las reinas de copas ["Queen of Cups"], an image of a Tarot card. Jolan is known for its winegrowing tradition. Contrasted with this come the astonishing but revealing reports from the news media telling us that women have increased their intake of alcoholic libations to an extent not know before.
The gaietz that a glass of wine or other alcoholic drinks maz induce [in this context the English word
"spirits" has a double meaning] gives way to a lack of inhibition in the way we behave. The truth springs from our lips without the slightest hesitation, there is an inner need to open up and to tell things that in a sober state we would not dare to mention. Drik brings to the surface the loneliness or bitterness that people sometimes feel, because they see things more clearly than, with a lucidity that doesn't last long, just until the final blackout that delivers us from the need to think, followed by the return to a state of self-contrl or constraint, as the case may be, a state in which we live our lives in society, but a state that helps to ensure that everything is functioning.
Tinto de verano, Gin Tonic, Cubalibre, Aleluya, Long Drink, Whisky Sour, are the names given to some of her works of art, and these names give rise to a story being told by each of the paintings which were created with wild, fauve, or salvajes brushstrokes, whichever adjective your prefer, using primary colours that the beholder's eye takes in quite easily, just like a young wine that goes down readily, but these paintings will stir up your emotions.
Thank you, Gabriela, for this Catharsis.
Isabel Bilbao, Galerist