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From the 11th to the 17th of June 2021, the nomadic Eve Leibe Gallery occupies 33 Boundary St in East London with a solo of Colombian-born artist Giorgio Celin. Ten paintings depict the complex relation with others and the difficulties of constructing a personal identity.

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From the 11th to the 17th of June 2021, the nomadic Eve Leibe Gallery occupies 33 Boundary St in East London. With a powerful series of oil paintings, the exhibition ‘Las Olas’ gives us a brief glimpse of emerging artist Giorgio Celin, who is slowly building a name for himself across Europe.

The exhibition is based on a two-year long and on-going artist-gallery relationship. Eve Leibe Gallery has seen this artist grow and plans to support him further. In fact, in the London Art Fair 2022 the gallery will include a selection of Celin’s works, along with pieces by other emerging artists who have a connection to the Americas.

 

Andrea Giordano, Installation view of the painting ‘The Waves’ (2021) by Giorgio Celin, 2021, Courtesy of Eve Leibe Gallery.

 

‘Las Olas’ is a taster of the Colombian-born and now Barcelona-based artist’s work. It shows a series of ten paintings which portray scenes of one, two or three figures embraced and moulded around each other. It is a continuation of the artist’s exploration of the difficulties of experiencing immigration and the struggles of queer and gender identity construction in his series ‘Pajaros del Atlantico’. 

The exhibition emphasises the multi-layered aspect of Giorgio Celin’s powerful work. In fact, the exhibition presents a mature view, which understands and highlights the depth of this artist. Together the pieces displayed create a consistent line, yet each painting is a self-standing and intense piece. The works show the organic fluidity of Celin’s brushstrokes and lines. Overall, this creates an intense, rhythmic and intimate movement.

In observing the works on show we realise the complexity of a very personal relation with the Self. The paintings give shape to developing and changing identities. Even the name ‘Las Olas’ (the waves), borrowed from a painting in the exhibition, evokes this fluidity. It is an exploration of the transformations human relationships and self-discovery can bring. 

The waves also allude to turmoil and contrasts. In fact, the title can be a metaphor for the complex emotional rollercoaster which intimacy has on the perception of one’s identity. Alone, in the relation with others and the context, the subjects explore themselves. 

In the intimate embraces portrayed, we can see the underlining pain one can feel.

In the ten paintings the figures are strong. They embrace each other and their emotions. Their relationships are necessary, yet difficult and even harmful. These people face the high waves of their past, emotions, needs and desires – feeling, changing and building their identity.

 

Andrea Giordano, Installation view of the painting ‘Figures 24’ (2021) by Giorgio Celin, 2021, Courtesy of Eve Leibe Gallery.

 

The result is a magnetic true depiction of intimacy. 

The artist’s fascination with the sea - an infinite and unsurpassable barrier - takes shape in the paintings. It is alive, changing and reflecting the emotions of the figures. In fact, the subjects are at one with their surroundings. We see the shaping of someone’s identity in relation to others, but also the difficulty faced in leaving one’s roots. 

In fact, moving between countries there is the necessity to recreate an individual sense of Self. So, for Celin, the sea is a physical barrier, but also a connection and mirror of inner emotions. Looking at his works, we are confronted with the difficulty in identifying where each person ends and what defines them. 

In the exhibition the powerful and all affecting emotions extend beyond the painting. The building emphasises this. As director Selena Cerami explains, the environment is not the typical ‘white cube’. It has a certain depth, showing the scars of a previous life. Experiences have marked the building and affected how it stands today – just like the people in Giorgio Celin’s works. 

It is as if the works are echoed in the architecture which hosts them and the diversity of surrounding East London.

All of us attempt, seek and put an effort into constructing our identity. We try to do this with others, shaping ourselves around them, changing and reconnecting to our experiences, desires, feelings, and roots. By doing this we change, evolve and construct our identities.

We can all relate to this, but Giorgio Celin’s works provide us with the opportunity to confront the great difficulties many face in this intimate experience.

 

 

Eve Leibe Gallery, Installation view of the exhibition ‘Las Olas’, 2021, Courtesy of Eve Leibe Gallery.

 

Click here to discover all the available works.

 

Cover image: Eve Leibe Gallery, Installation view of the exhibition ‘Las Olas’, 2021, Courtesy of Eve Leibe Gallery.

Written by Zoë Rivas Zanello

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