The Artist Mind: Eight Artists Photograph Themselves

Laurence Aëgerter, Maura Biava, Satijn Panyigay

January 13 - February 24

The Artist Mind: Eight Artists Photograph Themselves
Laurence Aëgerter, Maura Biava, Melanie Bonajo and Joseph Marzolla, Gwenneth Boelens, Elspeth Diederix, Satijn Panyigay, Viviane Sassen, and Andy Wauman


On Friday February 23rd


A performance by Joseph Marzolla

An experimental multimedia study of anticipation

The performance is part of the exhibition

Gallery Caroline O’Breen is delighted to announce an exhibition based on a curatorial proposition by the artist Maura Biava: The Artist Mind: Eight Artists Photograph Themselves. The exhibition contains a fine selection of works that depict the artist’s state of mind. Maura Biava: “I am interested in how artists are portraying the way they interact with what they do, their materials, and the energy that they engage with. I would say that the photographic works in this show are not images of entities and objects, but pictures of energies and interactions. What I see here is the mental state of being prepared for something to happen, the instant when something reveals itself; artistic fusion.”

Maura Biava, Torus #04, 2017, C-print, wooden frame, glass, 60 x 60 cm

Laurence Aëgerter depicts herself while looking at an iconic Canaletto painting (View of the Salute basilica in Venice) in the Louvre Museum, Paris. The photo is printed in life size, 1 to 1 with reality. Aëgerter studied Art History before Fine Arts, and questions about the perception of art regularly pop-up throughout her oeuvre. Here the artist seems to linger in another space-time, and she invites the viewer to come along.

Maura Biava considers the underwater, a space that is not inhabited by humans, as another space, just as the space for art is a different space. She compares the space of the sea to the space of her studio, a place where to perform and create works. She compares the blue of the sea to the white of the paper as a space where to show what is in her mind. She uses images of the underwater to talk about communication and information, and how that informs and transforms what we see. In her photograph in this show Maura Biava creates a torus with sand. A torus is a shape informed by a mathematical formula that visualizes a ring; toroidal flow is a constituent element in life.

Melanie Bonajo’ work is a collaboration with Joseph Marzolla who made the animation on her portrait. Melanie Bonajo is captivated by concepts of the divine, she explores the spiritual approaches of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and work on existential questions. With his work Joseph Marzolla reveals a subtle non material reality.  Together with Joseph Marzolla, Melanie Bonajo plays in ZaZaZoZo, they see it as a space, folk, tribal pop music project.

For those wishing to have a self portrait animated and “healed “ by Joshep Marzolla please send your own portrait to us and Joseph will turn it into a healed portrait.  

As part of the exhibition, Galerie Caroline O’Breen organized a performance by Joseph Marzolla on the 23rd of February, 2018. Click here for more information.

Melanie Bonajo and Joseph Marzolla


Gwenneth Boelens’ work is titled Not often the walls of the mind become transparent. One part of this diptych focuses on the forehead, the physical boundary between the outside environment and the mind. The second part is a negative in which rocks lie in a pit, arbitrarily, indivisible, indefinable, but at the same time tangible and charged with a history.

Elspeth Diederix depicts herself and a bottle. Her portraits of objects that surround her show that she sees things with different eyes. Maura Biava: “If we would have a different organ allowing us to see with higher definition, instead of a bottle we would see the vibrations of quantum particles and their lips. Diederix feels those energies and is able to reveal them to us through her images.”

Satijn Panyigay covered herself with a coal like substance. By adding this component she becomes one with her work. She embodies the black matter, vanishing in the darkness of her own work. The little sparkles in the coal bring the portrait a little light and refer to the night’s starry skies. In her work, Panyigay shows us her melancholic view on life, but at the same time there’s also beauty to be found in the grim and dark.

Viviane Sassen asks herself: “If I look at myself, can I ever get a clear view of who I am? Or will my reflection always be blurry, like Narcissus who stretched out his arms into the water to embrace himself, but found a scattered Self?” Viviane Sassen shot this self-portrait during a work trip in Suriname. She found a foil that she intended to use as a reflection screen, then saw her figure reflected in it, and made a series of pictures where her mirror image scatters and dematerializes.

Viviane Sassen | Untitled / Me # 13, 2013 (Suriname) | C-print | 45 x 30 cm | 5 + 2 AP
Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Andy Wauman’s palm spectacles show the palms in his mind, his flower shirt shows us the flowers in his heart. They are messages with a romantic sense for anarchy and love. In his works Wauman often uses images that have been violated, multiplied and copied by commercial media. He recuperates common metaphors and symbols and gives them their original touch of humor or even ideological meaning back.