Raphaëlle Goethals – Liquid Sky (deep blue)
Dimensions: 48 x 84″
Media: encaustic on panel
In her Liquid Sky series, Raphaëlle Goethals explores the space between earth and sky. These encaustic paintings reflect the vastness, expansiveness, and unique deep, rich blue of New Mexico skies. In the high desert of New Mexico, where water is a precious commodity, she hypothesizes that “the skies are our ocean.” Her works have been described as ethereal, meditative, and absorbing, yet are grounded by a subtle grid of points that serve as visual pauses to give the eye a place to rest while exploring her painting. She likes to blur the boundaries of material, visual language, and time, by using the historic medium of wax and subtle palette in her highly contemporary, enormously gorgeous paintings.
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.