In MaryAngel’s work the woman’s body, in its feminist gesture, insistently comes back, claiming a politic of the body uninhibited in the show off of genitals, erecting the female genitals as an icon and totem, with the same energy with which, in 1969 a historical moment so important for the revenge of female corporeality french-american artist Nicola L. was working the canvas as if it was the prosthesis of the body in all its sensuality, with the same energy with which Nicky de Saint Phalle erected the huge and colourful ‘Nanas’ to the status of femme-object, femmes-‘putes’ crucifix and sacrificed, to feminine icons full of primitive sexuality.
The first time one comes across MaryAngel’s work, one would become immersed in the female universe with all its colours, erotic energies and calienti mixed race bodies, wild beauties, but also violate beauties, used and abused from the primitive human and macho bestiality.
These women, sex objects, symbolic icons, fancied, abused bodies poetically fill her work.
Obsessed with the testimony of the passion imploding and exploding in her body, her canvases are sewed and resewed like wound that are opened and closed and they tell about sad and happy loves, feminine passions, women awaiting, mujeres hermosas, passionate dreamers and perfect lovers.
Her mujeres, with their transexual bodies, with their imperfect physiques of sinuous and sensuous bodies ooze latin femininity: the female body with its sexuality at the same time repressed from religion and overtly displayed, typical of south american culture, that is transformed into a possessed sexuality.
His female icons, often icons of the minorities’ groups: feminist, feminine and transexual icon.
As in the feminist language of Frida for the emancipation from machismo latino in which the woman is considered only for her body, her sex, often not respected and violated, humiliated, in MaryAngel’s work there is a deliberate and disinhibited politic of the body, an expression of revengeful sexuality, exactly in the south american and latin context, where women are often compelled to deny female sexuality and genital’s ostentation is still taboo.
All of this emerges from MaryAngel’s works, as if we had always known the lived experience of the artist, so pure and transparent like her person and her charming femininity: an artistic personality at the same time naive and dreamy.
The feminine revenge and her becoming conscious of her body triumphs in her ‘totems’: enormous structures composed by bras and panties that come off from the ceiling to invade the scenic space. They evoke the traditional indian totemic culture: the ‘clan’ is based on sex and sexuality lived positively but also negatively, capable of bringing out the brute and violent bestiality on men.
Sex, this new charming and perverse religion, with its totems, comes about as assistant or keeper of the individual, symbol of the clan.
The term ‘totem’ from the root do di dodèm, seems to hint at the milk or mother’s breast, called dodosh, which opens up hypothesis on a more archaic feminine lineage of the Totem, always seen as a phallic symbol belonging to the male word.
In MaryAngel’s work an inseparability of sacred and profane emerges, where eros triumphs stronger and shameless: from her drawings on doilies, reminiscent of Mexican ‘ex voto’ of the religious iconography, turned into erotic stories and scenes.
In her works there is the desperate cry of the woman: the romantic poetess, the loving woman that wants to be loved and begs to be desired regardless of the colour of her skin and of her hair, that implores to be loved in her entirety, every single part of her body.
Extrait of the text "Pretty Girl" By Manuela Oneto. Docteur en Esthétique et Technologies des Arts a la Université de Paris 8
In a world historically dominated by men, the role of women has been subject to the whims of those and determined by women’s physical attributes, their capacity for domestic functions and the supposed "weaknesses" that define them. A reality sustained by the force of tradition, with a major influence in modern societies, which inadvertently leads to marginalization and self-censorship. These circumstances have served to reinforce the authority of men and validate the status of discrimination, violence and inequality that has been subjected to the feminine gender for centuries. The struggle to free themselves from this atavistic stigma has meant organization, will and perseverance, in a process leading to achieve respect and recognition of their human condition.
The great social phenomena of the twentieth century led to substantial changes in cultural patterns and systems of thought, allowing women the opportunity to think over their presence and participation in the universal context. These practices brought up, among other things, the rise of the feminist movement and the so-called 'gender art' in the early seventies. The artists associated with this trend initially proposed an art aesthetic that reflects their own awareness on problems about ideological, political and social issues. In this regard, critic Lucy Lippard notes that "(...) feminist art can be understood, rather than a style and artistic movement, as a value system, a revolutionary strategy, a way of life." In this framework, precursors such as Miriam Schapiro, Linda Nochlin, Ann Sutherland Harris, Faith Ringgold, Mary Kelly, Judy Chicago and Nancy Spero, among others, assume a critical and questioning position, defending not only their social rights but also their expressive possibilities in the artistic field that result from their imagination and personal experiences-including a variety of visual and conceptual proposals with a range of considerable influence.
Inspired by the references cited above, Maryangel Garcia has been raising issues inherent in women for several years. In her later works, the female body is treated as a metaphor for fragility in permanent combat against male domination methods, an issue that demonstrates her concern for some unfortunate and persistent realities in today's society. Consequently, she creates images that, without abandoning reason, highlight the voluptuousness of the characters, women absorbed in their dreams and carnal desires and who explore another form of independence through sex. The idea climaxes in the piece Self Portrait (2012), where the print of her vulva multiplies in an irregular series of modules as a provocative and irreverent rush of energy, an unprejudiced attitude held by the imperative of pleasure away from the moralizing harangues.
In the studies carried out so far, the artist shows faces, breasts, torsos, legs and arms "drawn" with stitching seams on industrial textiles; carefully selected, work out as a chromatic base and evoke the textures of dressed skin. This generates a hybridization process, where she mixes materials and techniques with collage, drawing, painting and prints created with handmade stamps; the applications are marked by a casual gesture that emphasizes the appearance of lipstick stains, pins and badges that refer directly to femininity. Similarly she establishes relationships between the image and the written word with embroidered phrases that allude to either significant or bland problems, individual or collective. A recourse that reveals the vindictive attitude assumed by women, as autonomous subjects, in the public and private context in accordance with the spirit of our time.
The feminine germinates In the work of García. A vision from the daily experiences with multiple records that distinguish or stereotype the so called "gender." An emphasis to strong current themes, that also claim a link to recent past references within the history art, and to an almost ancestral history, that encloses and gives the idea of women's work at minor tasks, such as weaving, one of the oldest activity linked to women.
When the artist uses fabric in her work, consciously and unconsciously, she highlights an art of women. Thus, among fabrics, lace and thread she weaves a speech describing chronicles of life, personal or foreign anecdotes involving housewives, workers, prostitutes or executive alike. Fabrics of history that speak of short narratives established by the force of an inner universe full of emotions, concerns, queries, and ultimately, conscious motivations of a transformative dynamic that aspire to the ideal of freedom.
Crònicas. Maryangel Garcia. Museum of Contemporary Art Caracas. Text by the curator Luis Velazquez.