Gabriella Moreno

Gabriella Rose Moreno
Age: 18
The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
Year of Graduation: 2013
BFA: Bachelors in Fine Arts, Majoring in Drawing/Painting/Photography

lib • er • tine
noun
1 a person, esp. a man, who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, esp. in sexual matters.
2 a freethinker

The 18 year old artist formerly from the south side of Chicago is out and about measuring up her talents to some of the best in the city at galleries, shows, and in the classroom. This young latina artist has made a living so far of her masterpiece collections, and already has her foot in the door at many locations across the Chicago Land area. The soft spoken Gabriella Moreno is just one of the few art students to start at a young age and begin selling her artwork to actual clients. When most artist want to hang on to their work as prize possessions, Moreno puts the tag on her pieces and begins her bidding. Her ambition to create and produce such fine work is a gift and she can only hope that she does this for the rest of her life. With a unique style to her paintings and drawings, she allows her viewers to almost question her every move.

Without a doubt, Moreno has made her artwork standout from many other artist because of the simple fact that she is different in each and every way. Chasing after what she truly loves and wants in life should be the easiest thing to pick up from Moreno. Her influence on the canvas and her explanations behind every art work is what separates her from most artist and designers. Her pride, her glory, her tears, her sweat, her love, and her family is what surrounds her art work. Moreno is your class act present day libertine artist.

Seeing through the art
Being inspired is not what Moreno likes to say makes her art work come to life. Matter of fact she isn’t inspired by much, besides by those who have supported her throughout her life. “The most important thing that inspires me in my life is my family. All the love that I possess in my heart and all the diligent work that shows through in my art comes from their love and support that I’ve been receiving all my life.” Being a Mexican/Irish American you are taught from the day you can learn how to talk and walk that family comes first (or after, of course, the importance of loving yourself) because no one will care and love you as much as your flesh and blood. I grew up living with just my mother for most of my life and she has always kept the meaning of being with your family alive inside of me. And it’s hard to say what exactly inspires me in my artwork because everything initially does. All of my surroundings and experiences, newly found ideas and so on.

As many artist do, Moreno has many influences in her life that she admires. Her list can go on forever but she decides to tell the story on how one stood out from the very beginning. “When I was ten years old, my mother and godfather took me to the Mexican Arts Museum in Chicago, where they were showing works by Frida Kahlo. At that age, I wasn’t really aware of what the future had in store for me as far as making a living as an artist, but I was still imaginative enough to enjoy her beautiful paintings. I remember so vividly, standing two feet from her dreams…taking my time to look at every single stroke that built up or changed into something else. I remember looking at her self-portraits, and loving every changing expression she had on her face, and that tough vibe I got from her. As I got older, I had several drawing classes. I watched video after video about all different kinds of artists, but the one that always stuck with me was Frida. In my senior year of high school, I was accepted into the Advanced Placement Art program. One of the many assignments we had was to research on an artist of our liking, and then create a piece of our own that was inspired by one of their works. With no surprise at all, I picked the reason for becoming serious with my art, I picked my soul mate, Frida. When I did research on her, I found out so many things that haunted me, amazed me, and really made me appreciate myself as a Hispanic woman. She inspired me just by the way she lived her life. She was definitely the most strong-willed, loving, and free spirited woman; I really just fell in love with her for the longest time. After reading so much on her, I found that she was apart of the “surrealist group”. I researched the surrealists and I found my calling. I began to realize that my work had some of the aspects and styles of the surrealists, and God…I was so thrilled. I read and learned about Dali, Andre Breton, Andre Masson, Rene Magriitte, Man Ray, Max Ernst (just to name a few). I have to admit that I really was in this eternal love affair. I knew I was where I belonged.”

Fascinated and Obligated
Every artist has his or her way of stylizing their type of art and usually wants their art to stand out and have their signature look. Moreno has experimented in so many ways that has caused her to come to a halt and focus primarily on the human figure. “My main focus (and fascination) seems to be (at the moment) the human figure and the different possibilities of contortions and directions of line that follow with it. And that miraculously turns into something more meaningful than just a simple well-drawn human being. Before I start drawing my subject from life, I like to think and look at all the perspectives of this person or thing. I like to get into the mode of becoming my subject, feeling its personality and shape that makes it what it is, or who it is…to get a better understanding of what might come out of this. But that’s when I’m drawing from life. When I draw from my imagination, I like to have references (pictures or live subjects) so that I’m exact in my realistic proportions. Once I have the subject drawn to my liking, I go crazy with it! I start drawing from my imagination by creating lines and organic flows to ultimately create my vision…or not. Or sometimes, it turns into some absurd creation that really just forces me to like it.”

Half way through her first college semester Moreno has shown a level of maturity and respect to the history of art. Not many artist can say they really enjoy being lectured in the classroom about art history, but to Moreno it is a unique way to learn each style of art and possibly test each one out before categorizing yourself as any type of artist. “I don’t label my style yet…only because I want to learn all different realms of styles that exist in the history of art. I don’t necessarily want to master all the styles of art, but I want to grow to love and hate them! I want to be frustrated to the point of giving up, throw my pencils to the wall and have screaming tantrums. And then ultimately get really good at it!”

Blind Sketching
Probably sitting next to Moreno or not paying attention to her while your in a room together might not be a good idea for many. The master mind is always at work and is always searching for ideas and something to draw. On her days riding the “L Train” to school she tells us her everyday routine and how she goes about a day in her shoes. “I wake up fairly early and get ready for school. Even though it’s quite cold outside in the city at the moment, I really enjoy it. When I walk to the train station…I stare down at my feet until I see someone walk past, beside or across from me. The train rides going to school and coming home on the “L” are the most entertaining. Being that I live on the North side of Chicago, I see a lot of interesting people. Some encounters are compelling in my mind, and some…well I could care less about. It sounds odd but I really love staring at people. I enjoy watching them read their intellectual novels, yell on their cellular devices, stare out the windows with looks of depression…even better when they stare back at me. On a good day, I love whipping out my mini drawing pad and draw these people in distorted ways. I draw them with big flaring noses and distant looks with contour lines that change into another image. I haven’t been caught yet, or threatened so…I’m going to keep doing it! After about a half hour of a train ride, I go to my four or eight hour long class…I head home and do the same thing. Not too exciting in word description, but I assure you, it’s a wonderful experience.”

STAMPland Chicago Museum
Moreno’s artwork has taken her to the westside of downtown Chicago and has made her a well known artist because of it. The Stampland Chicago Museum recently had an exhibit were Morneo displayed her work and proudly discussed her clarity behind her art. When I first met my other soul mate, Samuel Feinstein (my boyfriend), I started getting connections from Stampland. His sister Jessica and her fiancée Josh (who are Fluxus artists and artists of which I admire as well) met the owners of this establishment (Picasso and Darlene Gaglione) and basically had Sam and I meet them as well. We were infatuated with each other from the start and we’ve all become very good friends.

Moreno has been with the Stampland for less than a year, and has nothing but good things to say about them. “I am blessed to have had them take me under their wing and expand my knowledge of the
art world.”

Moreno didn’t always have art on her mind, in fact she thought maybe she would receive a scholarship for playing in band at her high school. She played a bit of guitar, piano, and did singing for a while but found her true love in art. About around the same time last year she said it was when she realized art was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Her goals are as natural as the women to right. Yes, as clear as the colors, as contour as the lines are drawn and as determined as the facial reaction is. Moreno’s dream of being a art teacher diminished as she began to understand that not everyone wants to become a artist in high school, so why teach them. She discovered that she has little patience to teach students how to draw or how to develop their love for what they do “I felt this way because obviously, I’ve been in a lot of art classes…and I realized that not everyone is there for the same reason you are (and I’m mostly talking about high school experiences).” She changed her mind and went into selling her pieces for large sums and figured this is what she wanted to do. “When I graduate from college with a BFA, I want to travel everywhere. Then I want to start up a business of my own; where I would be selling my work, getting shows, doing commissions for people and what not. I know it isn’t impossible…and I’m motivated to make it possible for myself.”

Libertine Artist
The picture of the woman with the two face was created by Moreno during an assignment at school, and when asked what was this painting about? She said, it was a “libertine.” Libertine is a person who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, a person who rejects accepted opinions; a freethinker. The assignment was to create a self-portrait of yourself and create a monster. A character she choosed was out of the 1700’s and also from the book “Marquis De Sade.” The book was considered a exotic brand of reading and was suppose to be an influence on life. It took Moreno two full days to creat this colored pencil masterpiece, and is now worth well over 300 dollars.

“My Eternal Love”
The drawing seen above (page 16) is a cherished drawing by Moreno created for her boyfriend called “My Eternal Love” She used colored pencil, pencil, and marker. “For my A.P. Art class, we had to make 12 drawings for our Concentration portfolio…and that was the last of all the drawings I made. My portfolio was about me drawing portraits of people I knew intimately. As I did that, I learned more about the complexities of their lives and the things they cherished the most…and I drew it on paper. I did that as well as include anatomical references (because I have this obsession with the inner workings of the human body).”

“I met Samuel in a very odd and old-fashioned way…meaning I didn’t know him at all and there weren’t any known connections between the both of us. Throughout the year that I have been with him, I have grown to love him and understand his way of living, as well as understanding and loving myself. In this piece, I wanted to express my eternal love for this being that initially completes my being. In the negative space (background), I drew neuron cells floating in between the portraits of him and I. I did this because he suffers from post traumatic headaches due to getting hit by a car while riding his bike. And though this is a struggle we both go through in our relationship, our love and care strengthens and I express that with the symbolic blooming roses on the corners of my piece.”

Explore, Experiement, Expand
“My advice for all young artist, would be to explore anything and everything as best you can. As boring as art history may seem to be, it’s the most beautiful resource out there for us artists. Initially, that is how we grow and find ourselves, our styles, our meanings behind every subconscious thought. Do a lot of research as well as starting from the basics just like our founding fathers of Classical art. Draw before you paint. Crawl before you start running! I’m still at my crawling stage, learning how to walk, but getting one step closer to becoming the successful artist I want to be.” – Gabriella Moreno

Contact Gabriella Moreno

gmoren@saic.edu
www.artic.edu/~gmoren
or at facebook “gabriella moreno”

Stampland Museum
2708 West Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622
773. 366. 8934
stamplandchicago.com

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