Artist Statement

Gail Kotel Windows

I have always been drawn to the face.

As Early as High School, I completed a series of watercolors of all the people in my life of whom i was related to or intimate with from Texas, to Philadelphia and NYC.  Over a year’s time, at least 100 paintings were completed. I next moved to woodcuts, followed by monoprints: but as time went on, hand printing yielded equal parts paint on the paper and glass, which was not productive.  This compelled me to leave the paint on the glass, still working within the process of monoprinting.  But the single pane of glass was not as compelling as multiple panels (like grids for a mural), and thus my love affair with windows was born!!!  And as time went on, 4 became 6 and even 16 panes.  The complexity of fitting the subject into the panes was of great interest to me.  The whole tension of who was looking at whom – viewer or sitter- creates a complex struggle with voyeurism which has become the nature of the work.

My newest direction breaks through the glass and now incorporates broken mirrors as well taking the face apart while holding it together, moving into the figure, creating yet another dimension of tension, moving in front, behind and out from the window.

Depending on who you are and where you are in your life at that present moment in time, each face takes on a different meaning.  Are you looking in on them: are they catching you?  What else is behind that window?  That is all dependent on your point of view.

As for ink drawings, again it is the face which compels me.  Here I am working with a traditional medium (ink), which is non traditionally applied. Over the years sticks, leaves, paper clips, paper shavings and rubber bands have replaced the paintbrush.  With these materials I am left to build my figure as I would a sculpture.

– Gail S.Kotel