Raphaelle Goethals – Adrift


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Artwork Description

Raphaelle Goethals – Adrift

Dimensions: 54.5 x 60.5″
Year: 2018
Media: Wax, resin, and mineral pigments on panel

Raphaëlle Goethals’ mixed media on panel work, Adrift, remains true to its name; Goethals’ predominant use of white suggests an untethering or wandering in an environment where the lack of discernible features strips away any sense of obligation to a fixed context. Cohesive with Goethals’ emphasis on the human psyche, Adrift may instead suggest a mental rather than corporeal wandering, where the painting’s atmospheric surface alludes to a moment of dreaminess. Goethals provides a sense of anchoring through the light grid of black and white dots, which indicates that the viewer’s current dreamlike state might begin to meander through more linear visual elements.

Raphaëlle Goethals is a self-described bicultural artist, who grew up in Belgium and left for the United States to pursue her artistic career in Los Angeles—culminating in her move to New Mexico where she has lived and produced work for the past twenty years. Due to her upbringing in an environment riddled with the artistic successes of Flemish Renaissance Artists and more contemporary individuals such as René Magritte, Goethals’ work often draws on this rich history, emphasizing a sense of process and creation in conjunction with art historical elements. Her work is best described as abstract, where Goethals gradually builds up detailed surfaces through layering wax and resin, incorporating elements from the present through each additional layer and the past by manipulating new layers to reveal the textures beneath. Goethals’ work redefines traditional ideas surrounding language and time and serves as a personal adaptation of a landscape, where her pieces visually explore the human mind rather than a geographical region. Goethals challenges viewers to limit the scope of the information they take in and are frequently bombarded with by observing pieces that are reductive in nature and free viewers from external distractions.

by Keira Seidenberg

Knowing that Raphaelle is moved by the beauty and magic of New Mexico, I see in this work, the Earth revealing the powerful energy it took to create and transform itself. Upon closer examination, the imagery reveals itself slowly and with ever-changing layers of power. This gives us a sense of immense stability and our relationship with the earth. It also helps us connect to our unconscious self but at the same time lets us see the expanding possibilities in ourselves. The black dots in the piece is associated with power, fear, mystery, strength, authority, elegance, formality, death, evil, and aggression, authority, rebellion, and sophistication. Black is required for all other colors to have depth and variation of hue.