Between Terminals A-East and B
Haitian-born Philadelphia artist Claes Gabriel is known for his brightly patterned 3-dimensional paintings that reference masks and totemic statues. His handmade forms are canvas stretched over armatures of cut and carved wood. Once the canvas is pulled and stitched taut, he begins to paint. Gabriel said that he has purposefully rejected "the boundaries of the flat canvas and the conformities of the rectangle" in order to animate and "give life" to his work.
Gabriel's pattern-based paintings flirt with the figurative as many feature staring eyes. His dimensional paintings embody a mysticism likened to ancient ritualistic objects yet they are contemporary and futuristic in their neon-based color palettes and sleek modern forms. His work seamlessly blends past and present, real and imagined, Western and non-Western.
Gabriel's paintings are a reflection of his fascination with what he calls "creatures of other worlds." He said, "Whether symbolic mythical goddesses, creatures from the depths of the sea, or beings that reside on some other planet—I know I'm not alone in my intrigue." His resulting forms are magical and spirited expressions that are alluringly other-than-human.