Sandra Strēle

Sandra Strēle
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Sandra Strēle

I was born on 20 May 1991 in Riga, Latvia. Since my childhood I have enjoyed telling stories. It seemed to me as normal everyday evening ritual when my father used to tell me some self-thought stories. I believe that visual art, especially painting, is the best and the freest platform for creating different narratives. The visuality of the painting and the text supplement each other in a way that surprises and enchants me but always leaves a space for some unseen “magic” ideas to show up.

The narrative I try to develop in my art installations is mainly social focusing on individualistic view of life. Artistically I am searching for daily misunderstandings of ‘’normal’’ things, extraordinary shiftings from everyday routine actions, mystical habits and beliefs which go beyond the logic or sagacity. Some examples would be divination in coffee grounds or a sickly obsession of collecting worthless things.

I try to combine the traditional issues of painting with the characteristics of contemporary context, creating large-scale painting-based installations in which I always try to keep the „pure painting” as the dominant media. Creating painting based installations is a way to make a stronger tie with the viewer, ‘’speculating’’ not only with the attractive and lovable visuality the paintings usually try to develop within the possibilities of the medium but also make an accent on the narrative of the piece itself which is usually text, sound or object based.

In my latest painting series and installations, I focus on creating places that are secluded, alienated, sometimes lonely and existential, as well as on imagining their architecture and fictional scenarios, offering the viewer the role of an observer. The paintings surprise and speak with their amplitude and scale that continues the tradition of Latvian monumental painting. To reach full and clear story lines that interlink the paintings of the installations, I make artist's books, where in the shape of records and stories small fragments of texts get compiled. The narrative captured in fragments links them to the paintings.

contemporary art
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