Working with clay reminiscent of the red earth of her native Guanajuato, Gabo Martini painstakingly carves her poetry onto large vessel forms. The process of sgraffito, scratching a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, allows Gabo to reflect on past trauma. Two large vessel forms will dominate the installation, Mis Demonios and Querido Hermano each adroitly incised with their own poem evoking personal pain and ultimately triumph. The terra cotta base is offset by vibrant and colorful letter forms that wrap around the vessel cycling through the Spanish text.
In addition to the large and small vessel forms, Gabo will prints densely patterned linocuts with paddle form motifs rooted in the aesthetic of her Mexican American heritage.
“I was born in Tarimoro, Guanajuato, a town in the heart of Mexico, full of rolling hills and scenic valleys. There is Chichimeca in my blood and Purépecha in the tone of my skin. I was born in a town where people make a living by producing bricks from the red dirt under their humble feet. They mold the earth and create shelters for their kin and the greater local community. Every summer of my childhood was spent experiencing the vibrant towns and cities of Mexico which is reflected in my work through the use of bright colors against the warmth of terracotta.”
Born Gabriela Martinez in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1995, Gabo is a first generation college graduate. She earned her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from Texas State University in 2018. Gabo has exhibited work numerous times at the Texas State Galleries as well as the Historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio and the Rockport Center for the Arts. Gabo’s work explores the interplay between surface and form. Inspired by indigenous Mexican and Native American art, she carves patterning and lettering onto vessel form. She currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.