Last Friday, I was in LA for Frieze and I hosted a talk with the artist Gisela McDaniel at Second Home.
Gisela is an incredible, wise-beyond-her-years artist whose work challenges traditional art history and the viewer. We’re currently working together on her first print edition and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it in due course! But, in the meantime, I want to share our conversation and her work with you.
Gisela paints these immensely powerful, thickly layered portraits that incorporate talismans from sitters and friends and each feature an accompanying audio element giving a voice to the sitter and their story. Through her portraiture, Gisela subverts the historic concept of muse and painter to a relationship that puts the sitter and artist on an equal footing. Gisela describes those she depicts and provides a platform to as “sitter-collaborators”. For her the process is never just to create an image of the sitter. Rather the works are built out of relationships and are at the service of the sitter’s story, of their experiences and process of healing. Gisela provides a platform to underrepresented and marginalised voices and celebrates their experiences.
I find her work deeply moving and hope you do too. Sharing a recording of our talk together, if you want to find out more! https://avantarte.com/story/gisela-mcdaniel-gemma-rolls-bentley