Inside the Studio

Visit with Gabrielle Raaff

Gabrielle Raaff shares her Cape Town studio space along with guiding words from past teachers and a peek at new works.

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“The people and environment that I interact with on a daily basis seem to rub off on my paintings. I can't say it is intentional or well thought through; rather, my work becomes a way for me to reflect on what I notice, what I see and feel. And above all, it allows me to be playful every day of my life.”

— Gabrielle Raaff

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“I will never forget what my painting lecturer said to me once when I asked him what the goal of a painter is. He said 'To confuse the viewer'. I quite like that subversive nature of painting. I don't set about trying to describe a scene but rather I try to recall some of the more unusual visual moments from the experience and dish them up to the viewer in layers upon layers.”

— Gabrielle Raaff

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“I have been enjoying working with found imagery culled from various local neighborhood newspapers. The strange angle, subject matter or even headline becomes a springboard for new visual stories. These works are a combination of water based oil and ink.”

— Gabrielle Raaff

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“Taking photographs of my subjects allows me to soak up the scene, but also to have a bank of visual triggers from which I can extract the elements that are not obvious to me at the time of the encounter. ”

— Gabrielle Raaff

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“Practically, at the studio I can also stretch large pieces of watercolor paper on boards and work to a scale that would be impossible for me to carry around. It is in the quiet, white space of my studio that my graphic eye comes in. I look for pattern, repetition, negative spaces and form and these are springboards for new stories to emerge.”

— Gabrielle Raaff

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