Curated by Ksenia Jakobson and Asya Yaghmurian
Every two weeks a freshly cut white rose is delivered to an elderly woman living in a ground floor apartment in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The woman takes good care of her roses. When the fresh one arrives, still firm and blooming, it always joins those delivered weeks before. Eventually the older roses fade away, but the woman doesn’t rush to throw them out. Once in a while a rose lingers on, until its dry brittle petals lie scattered on the windowsill. On the day when the rose is delivered the woman calls her grandson. He is the one who sends them.
Mazzarol prioritizes painterly qualities over the representational or realistic portrayal of his subjects. While giving direct attention to some elements, he merely alludes to the existence of the others. His intuitive and gestural application of paint varies from object to object, from one painting to another. The fierce brushwork and rich surface texture are juxtaposed with subtler brushstrokes and precise value gradations, conveying a range of emotions tamed by the subdued color pallet.
The scene that we again and again encounter is familiar: a house, a courtyard, the tranquil serenity of everyday life, punctuated only by a rigid grid of window bars. With each painting Mazzarol reveals more of the scene, each time revisiting it from a slightly different angle, to capture a range of concrete sensations and experiences. An absence of shadows and a soft, luminous palette give the impression that light emanates from within the painting. Our gaze oscillates between elaborate elements and hollow shapes suggested by their linear contours, creating a sense of dynamic movement.
Following these cues, we are compelled to imaginatively project ourselves into pictorial space, instead of positioning ourselves in relation to these paintings as if simply looking at them. Surrounded by Mazzarol’s paintings, we find ourselves in a panopticon of sorts – simultaneously the observer and the observed, both inside and outside of the security bars.
Text by Ksenia Jakobson and Asya Yaghmurian
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