Friday, 2 December 2011

ceaselessly in the making

Monica Canilao is a Californian all-around artist, a keen 
doer of countless deeds, a free-spirited, action-oriented 
artist skillfully moving across media, techniques and 
materials borrowing from American native traditions and 
contemporary subcultures to fervently build her own 
'library of memories' while expressing at large 
her ceasless desire to create.

...”First and foremost, I have to create and there is no 
limit to the things I will use or where I will find materials 
to create with...” she stated in an exhaustive interview 
for 'In the Make', the riveting online journal run in 
collaboration by photographer Klea McKenna and writer 
Nikki Grattan exploring the world of contemporary 
artists and designers through studio visits.
The experienced duo reviews once a week each artist's
space, process, influences and what's hidden behind their
finished woks ”highlighting the ways in which each 
artist's personal aesthetic pervades their 
environment and reveals their perspective.”

Monica shares with other artists and performers a huge sunny
studio in the heart of Oakland (check the pictures, you'll be
nutty about it!), a sort of ”insane musuem cave of wonders”
as she depicted it, where she spends most of her time
collecting remnants and scraps, making collages, designing
jewelry, painting, sewing, drawing and building in zealous
work storms that she lovingly refers to as 'art jail'.
”From boats to portraits, everything I make I use to reimagine
the meaning of home, the power of collectivity and the imprint
history has left on me. (...) My practice is a way to generate
a personal and living history (...) for me, making art is about

 making living sacred.” she wrote on her website's bio.

Monica's ecletic style which is at ease with every kind of 
techniques and media, recently evolved into building out cockeyed 
installations made with abandoned fragments of everyday life
(she has a massive collection of fabrics, laces and doilies,
old paper and wooden bits,though). ”I often think that things
aren't ready to be thrown out, that there's still so much life left
in discarded objects (...) I definitely want to pass on how
important it is to recycle materials, to use what already
exists, to not be wasteful and to be as 'green' as possible.”

Monica's often joins forces with other artists (she never
misses the opportunity to work with her loved ones), lately
she teamed up with soulmate Bunnie Reiss, the gifted
Colorado-born, San Francisco-based artist whose aesthetic
has common ground for ”Little Old One”, the installation
project currently on display in Lopo Gallery while last
summer she traveled to Sweden to create with Kyle
Ranson a show based on the meeting between different
forms of magic, called ”The more we wander”
at Malmö's Krets gallery.

Can't wait to see what she will do next year in Milan 
with Swoon, Dennis McNett and Harrison Bartlett!

all artworks © Monica Canilao, compiled from
the artist's website - In the Make -

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