Our skin is like a map, detailing the itinerary of our existence and carrying the marks of our every feeling and experience. Like the rings of a tree, it carries the weight of our life, revealing untold stories, laying our soul bare for the world to see. In her latest collection of oil paintings, Historias de Piel, Colombian artist Carolina Gutiérrez sets out on the intimate exploration of human skin. The series, completed during the pandemic, depicts a pair of hands interacting with each other, speaking in a sign language of their own. Instead of using a traditional support, Gutiérrez paints on animal skin; a living and breathing material that carries the signs of its own past, which she blends with her own creating strikingly unique compositions. The manual gestures are accompanied by texts in Braille, embossed on the surface of the canvas. Through this she attains her ultimate goal: transforming the painting into a “feeling machine,” beyond any form of visual or verbal communication.
A native of Bogotá, Gutiérrez studied Plastic Arts and Architecture at Universidad de los Andes and earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She exhibited in Bogotá, Tokyo, Miami, and New York and was selected to showcase her paintings at Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM), in Barcelona, as part of the 2021 Figurativas Painting and Sculpture Competition.