Maria José Cabral’s mixed-media works stem from an ongoing engagement with leisure-time as the generative source underlying authentic relationships. Often working with pictures archived in a family photo album, Cabral has opted to recreate these very scenes from memory, allowing the fallibility of recollected events to color her subject-matter with a lush sheen of exotic colors. This syncretic blend of photography, acrylics, and mixed-media painting lends her works a uniqueness which can’t be wholly reduced to any one medium or technique she puts to use, or even the photos that provided an original source of inspiration.
Cabral’s Dumper majestically captures the way memory shades into fantasy. A group of figures is seated in an industrial “dumper.” Their faces are all but indiscernible, hued by a popping fluorescent blue. Almost eerily, each figure appears to be looking away from the viewer's vantage point – less like they were posing than as if they were transplanted from another pictorial plane to where they presently sit. In the background, psychedelic swaths of primary colors seem to dynamically converge, creating a sense of place whose elementary parts seem collaged from dream.