Galanes’ intricate abstractions, which she produces at a rate of two hours per square inch, invite the viewer into the paper to explore the intricacies of her flowing figures, which sometimes evoke human hair, sometimes strange flowers. “Working directly onto a special ground porcelain board, she utilizes a mechanical pencil to devour the space and create images motivated by her fascination with textures, surfaces and human interaction,” according to a release about the show.
I intently draw the freak that I am and the impact is beautiful. Aware and sensitive, sometimes painfully, to human reactions to the strange and abnormal, I grew up developing an insatiable need to communicate what I’m capable of regardless of my appearance. When I work in pencil, I see the raw movement of my hand in my work. I control it to build what I already see. My innate ability to do this excites me and there is a sense of freedom. When I begin a drawing, I do not have a final image in mind. I simply put lead to surface and start marking it with lines. A composition forms and I follow it until it is complete, stopping only when I feel full and when the piece is balanced and void of interruptions.
The joyful play of lines in Galanes’s work recalls the intricate beauty of Baroque ornament. Where classicism sees beauty in the human figure, and romanticism celebrates the infinite’s immanence in nature, Baroque art does not so much represent beautiful objects, as the sense of beauty without object. Like Baroque ornament, Galanes’s work is, in this way, profoundly modern. Flaunting artistic mastery, extraordinary discipline, and meticulous attention to her own formal conventions, the monochromatic flora she draws out by pencil from a stone-like porcelain board mesmerizes the viewer with unnameable beauty. But Galanes’s vine-like reliefs at once make disturbing reference to the bodily. The inviting play of lines repulse, when, from another aspect, we notice in their detail a semblance of contorted flesh, sinews, and bones. This (de)composition of bodies inside out thus referencing our own mortality, Galanes’s works teeters strangely between the pure aesthetic experience and its conceptual decay—without letting us down.