Dimensions: 78 x 69″
Media: encaustic on panel
Raphaelle Goethal’s encaustic painting, Thera, is a reference to a volcanic island near Crete, where archeologists have found artifacts which suggest the Minoan civilisation was wiped out by a massive volcanic explosion. The piece showcases Raphaelle’s signature process of building up and tearing down layers upon layers of pigmented wax, leaving behind a translucent, archaeological, surface.
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 information they take in and are frequently bombarded with by observing pieces that are reductive in nature and free viewers from external distractions.