Calida Garcia Rawles‘ paintings grab you. Faced with the deep, luminous blue of the waters she paints, the hyper-realism of the waves, the reflections, and the bodies, you feel ready to fall over.
The American artist, who lives and works in Los Angeles, creates large-scale portraits of African-American men and women immersed in water. Behind the attractive images, the turquoise ripples, and the glint of a possible sun, lies, in reality, a reflection on the ambivalence of water: it heals and nourishes, but it also plays a part in the history of racial inequalities and still engulfs those who cross it. By articulating her practice around this duality, she makes water the vector of a reflection on political identities, the bearer of a memory, and the witness of events that are repeated.
His work is currently presented in Still Present! theBerlin Biennale 2022, curated by Kader Attia.