Gabriela Hirt is an expressionist mixed media artist who tells stories of connection and separation through abstract human figures in relationship with space, time and each other.
Dark drama and subliminal tension often reverberate in Gabriela’s paintings. Raised in post-war Germany in the wake of the Holocaust, her work is informed by family trauma as well as by the collective guilt she grew up with. Juxtaposing themes of isolation and belonging is the artist’s attempt to communicate the paradoxes she perceives in herself and in society.
More specifically, Gabriela is aiming to understand the legacy of colonialism in her adopted home in Canada by looking closely at the segregating concepts of hierarchy and superiority subconsciously living in herself and other white bodies.
Gabriela uses contrast, simplified forms and bold energetic marks to articulate inner emotional states as well as to invite questions of social justice. She likes to work large.
Rooted in her original career as a writer, Gabriela depicts whole narratives in which her stylized people interact. Faces are deliberately treated ambiguously. The focus is on the language of the body which the artist deems not only more subtle, but also more genuine, particularly when it comes to social interactions.
Gabriela’s desire to push the boundaries of awareness — her own and that of viewers — sparks a process of radical experimentation. Paintings start with stream-of-consciousness writing followed by several layers of paint applied in large gestural movement to access somatic wisdom. Out of the chaos top layers are carefully composed, reflecting her fascination with the intersection between analytical inquiry and the intuitive.