Carolina Paz is an artist interested in small and ordinary, soft things, full-bodied, light pieces of materiality, and smooth or repeated gestures. She investigates these relationships through paintings, videos, objects, and participatory projects. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally, in museums, galleries, and residencies such as the SPRING/BREAK Art Show, New York, NY; RAW POP UP, Miami, FL; Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn, NY; Virgilio Gallery, Baró Gallery, Zipper Gallery, São Paulo, Brazil; Goiania Art Museum, Goiania, Brazil; Cerveira Art Biennial Foundation, Cerveira, Portugal; National Museum Soares dos Reis, Porto, Portugal; Culture Centre Rector Ricardo Rojas, Buenos Aires, Argentina; among others. She is the recipient of the Funarte Visual Arts award. Her work is featured in the permanent collections of Rio de Janeiro Museum of Art, Luis Seoane Foundation, the Rio Grande do Sul Museum of Art, and Goiânia Museum of Art.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences in 1999 and a master’s degree in Media and Knowledge in 2003 from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). She holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York.
I am interested in the dialogues we make in and with familiar living spaces, which I investigate through paintings, videos, objects, and participatory projects. I am curious to examine the meaning of the tracks people leave when expressing ideas and moving on with their lives. The starting point for producing an artwork can be a sewing thread found on the bed or a coffee stain on a restaurant table. Little things, colors, and textures attract me, and from them, my artwork starts to take shape.
Viewers can compare most of my oil paintings to cakes with a thick frosting that I sometimes enrich with wax. There is leftover paint around the edges of the canvas as if it had a melting frame. Usually, I produce these paintings as objects that I can hold with my hands. These pieces that can be abstract or figurative are composed of fragments of images and words on assorted themes.
Although the majority of these works are small, eventually, they grow in scale. I have created a sculpture by tying a hundred pillows in a row as if a massive hug contained all of it. When dealing with large matters, I always find myself manipulating soft or delicate materials such as fabric or porcelain. It is exciting to set delicacy as a monument giving it space while recognizing its fragility.
When I want to observe my acts and gestures upon the physical elements I work on, the video is a tool that allows me to record these gestures mainly related to the performance of my hands. The caressing acts, taking food to the mouth, and pouring a drink are among the movements I make in front of the camera to see them from another perspective.
Words also have a significant presence in my production. They serve as components of the images I create, and they also connect the work to specific contexts.
Attracted to the sound of the spoken word, I cherish the different accents, the countless rhythms, and the emphases people create when they read aloud –– sounds that uniquely represent interpretive processes full of emotion and memory. Likewise, I see the drawing of the handwritten word, the calligraphy, as a sensitive expression composing the set of details that I collect from the world around me. Wanting to connect these aspects of communication, I propose to receive letters and provide a painting for each text that people send to me. From these texts filled with sentiments, narratives, and intimacy, I respond with my visual work as a tool of reciprocity, one of the most important things to me.
As I am also an educator with a deep interest in this field, my classroom experiences, whether in person or online, influence my process. Reading and writing assignments are opportunities to exchange opinions, understand different standpoints, and new ways of manifesting poetic knowledge –– that always emerge, even without intention. My role is to cultivate and frame these expressions and to give them life as artworks.
Through art, I seek joy and connection with other people. Consequently, my practice has become an invitation to cooperate and exchange.