By Hannah Jo Uy
Honesty. This is what binds all Eleanor Giron artworks together. Whatever its subject matter and whatever underlying themes are presented within her unmistakably raw, passionate, and wild aesthetic composition, each piece draws its power from the honesty that birthed it into the world. Giron has always been unabashed with regard to her artistic life. In every sense of the word, her artwork is an extension of herself: “I have a hard time imparting anything I haven’t experienced myself or know enough of,” she admits.
Giron shows life through her eyes, and her boldness in doing so helps launch a dialogue on taboos and hidden realities that many people deal with, but are scared to admit. She is adamant in her portrayal of her own maturity, struggles, and realizations. Allowing us to be privy to her experience, she showcases the painful aspect overlooked in the process of maturity, and how it is a necessary part of our evolution.
It is for this reason that in her recent show at Kaida Gallery, “The Moon Follows and the Sun is Always Beyond,” we see a subtle departure from previous themes, which primarily focused on physical connection. Today, she is delving more into her inner world, blurring the lines between reality and into the unexpected twists and turns of the mind.
“It seems that to this day, it’s all about reflection,” she says, confessing her hunger to face the demons within herself, “and I want to show more of my inner world. So now, I’m trying to distort what I normally do, create pictures in my head that don’t exist in real life. I want to explore that more because at the moment, the unknown is more interesting to me. Maybe it’s because I find the unknown scary, and I want to confront those fears. Living a life in fear is not living at all.”
This jump, aesthetically, conceptually and personally, into the unknown manifests itself through subtle hints. This ennui, the utter weariness and listlessness toward life, is palpable. It is depicted, however, as a catalyst for change, similar to a cocoon breaking out of its old self into a version of itself it never thought existed.
This is only possible when one asks the hardest questions and accept, possibly, difficult truths, which is what Giron did, candidly sharing her own insights that pushed her forward: “I keep looking for someone to tell me what to do because I’m afraid of failure and I have no safety blanket. And I realized that attitude was keeping me in the same place because I kept looking for someone to guide me instead of taking the reins and taking failure and hardship like a big girl.”
This is what Giron tackles in her latest show, which features 12 oil paintings and three sculptures that serve as a departure her usual pieces. Within the collection there are these recurring themes of cutting cords and flying away, symbolizing this desire toward new and unexpected possibilities. “I want to be someone else,” she says, “or at least, discover who that is despite the fear.”
In a world where we are taught to be quiet and be perfect, Giron speaks out bravely in celebration of imperfections and all the things she has yet to learn.