Gabrielle Funk is a Winnipeg-based visual artist, muralist and community art facilitator, studying fine arts at the University of Manitoba.
She works primarily in two dimensional format using combinations of ink and acrylics to render densely detailed characters imbedded in sparse, abstract environments. Gabrielle creates realist portraits that walk the line between the awkward and graceful, the familiar and foreign. Through her work she grapples with the complex subtleties of both human and animal nature, comparing, contrasting or combining the two. Her current series of paintings and drawings depict a range of compromised and revealing self portraits, representing various stages of personal exploration and her struggle as a woman to uncover a genuine sense of self despite the complex pressure of cultural and religious expectations placed upon her. She invites viewers into a world laced with quiet tension and subtle admission, seeking to find and represent the face of vulnerability and the essence of authenticity using subject matter and symbolism that is as hostile and wild as it is familiar.
Gabrielle Funk presents a series of mixed media, two dimensional portraits documenting the physical, spiritual and emotional journey of a woman striving to excavate and preserve an authentic version of herself while grappling with the clashing expectations of both the lingering internal influence of a dogmatic religious upbringing and the enormous external pressure of a Western cultural framework rooted in antiquated patriarchal ideologies.
The figures are rendered nude and in high detail in reflection of the historical artistic and religious obsession with monopolizing and dictating the function and form of the female body. The repetition of the same individual in each portrait simultaneously represents the steadfast presence of an authentic “core” self and the deeply imbedded human tendency to fixate upon the elusive idea of physical perfection and the feminine ideal, particularly as it pertains to contemporary, Western women.
The animals are a consistent allusion to themes of domestication and hierarchies of dominance; in each portrait they represent the ever-shifting struggle of the subject to manage the expectations placed upon her by the forces at play.
(If you are interested in attending but are unavailable on March 4th, the exhibition is open for a month and the gallery’s hours are from 8-11 every Friday, or by appointment with the owners).
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