The Drawers - Katia Santibanez  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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“…as there are blades of grass” - A biblical quote to describe the importance of each presence.

The incomprehensibility of the miniscule and of the miniscule in large numbers, in particular, is a reference for philosophical musing. It can be connected to the sublime for it goes outside of normal understanding, transcends the quotidian (and grass is common), and turns it into a statement from God. An expanse of grass and the number of blades therein, or the realization of the single blade to the lawn – this is the intersection between that which is ‘of the earth’ and that which is ‘made in heaven’. This is a grandiose and loaded notion.

Katia Santibanez has physically understood the relationship between the fine and individual perfection of a blade and the lawn. She has brought it into comprehension by organizing the individual components and by physically rendering and capturing each one. Considering, first, the individual blade, it is a pristine blade. The shape is similar to a knife blade as it narrows to a point. The edges are sharp. Each one is as close to the other as the human hand is able to accomplish. Katia has paid equal and undivided attention to each component, has focused on the blade, and then has ordered it. Katia relates not only to the organic but also, with a firm commitment to the architectonic. She lines the little blades up, places them in squares and ordered rows. She controls them. She exerts her logic on an organic system. There is, arguably, always a component of playing “The Creator” in the making of art, and in art that derives subject from the natural world, the metaphor is strong.

The result of the work from the blades or the other elements she is working from, tends to become a different element and has references to sexual and sensual elements and feelings such as hair, eyelashes... The energy also between the emptiness and the pattern created by the natural elements.

The act of drawing, painting or etching the single component and then repeating it almost as often as naturally occurs also creates awe when looking at the work. Within relatively small formats (in an art world that tends to oversize), Katia Santibanez inspires the respect due to a monumental task. There is a palpable awareness of the labor that went into executing each precise blade over and over and over again. We are amazed at her vision. Her eyes are keen instruments. Her patience and attention - great. The works are awesome, with the strength of the original, rather than the cliché derivation, definition of the word.

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