Collaborative works by Ghislaine Fremaux and Lando Valdez concern the sensuality of grief, the medicalized subject, the experience of surgical intervention, desire, and the concomitance of all of these.
Ghislaine Fremaux (born in Washington, D.C.) and Lando Valdez (born in Levelland, Texas) live and work in the Texas Panhandle. They inaugurated their collaborative partnership in 2018 and began exhibiting together in 2020. Both are pastelists and painters, and each claims portraiture as the origin of their artistic enterprise. Together, their work concerns the sensuality of grief, the medicalized subject, the experience of surgical intervention, desire, and the concomitance of all of these.
“These drawings are, and are about, inter- and intra-corporeal experiences. We are interested in the derangement of the body through illness, grief, love, and desire. Through the surgical inquiry of drawing—taking line as a scalpel and paper as skin—we trouble the objective demarcations of internal and external. Through collage, we transplant tissue, lifting the skin from one body and grafting it onto another. We remove and resection; augment and implant. Through our work, we disclose to each other what we cannot see of ourselves. We re-envision through the unhuman gazes of iPhone and endoscopic cameras. Our (conflicting, conflicted) accounts of self and other are interleaved in the drawings. Such a body can never be intact and is always inchoate. The immense scale of the work should serve this end, enabling the body to take the form of an emerging order that organizes itself before and around the viewer. In the mutability of paper and chalk, these bodies, like all bodies, are not objects but processes.”
Fremaux and Valdez undertake the development and execution of each piece collaboratively, often drawing shoulder-to-shoulder or alternating frequently. The drawings follow from long conversations about their own relationship, the fathoming of each other as pathologized bodies and objects of desire, the visual cultures of medicine and religion, and the responsibilities of figurative art. Lando is largely self-taught and maintains practices in portraiture and illustration. Ghislaine is associate professor of art at Texas Tech University. They recently enjoyed a one-month residency at the Anderson Center at Tower View in Minnesota in October 2021 where they began new work with video, investigating forms of “miraculous healing.”