Canadian-born, Puerto Rican-raised, L.A.-based contemporary artist Gisela Colón, whose unique sculptural language of “organic minimalism” breathes life-like qualities into reductive forms through a vocabulary of anthropomorphic geometries in order to create pristine light-activated sculptures that utilize innovative 21st century materials, deconstructs and expands on a predominantly male-dominated Minimalist canon – and who has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East – plumbs her own psychological depths only to discover what makes her love work and life.
What historical art figure would you like to have lunch with and why? Queen Hatshepsut who became King of Egypt and ruled for 22 years in Ancient Egypt. She is the ultimate feminist. Instead of having lunch with her, I would want to spend a whole day by her side experiencing ancient groundbreaking female power and wisdom. I would [also] want to have a long boozy lunch with Donald Judd at his home in La Manzana de Chinati.
What did you purchase with the proceeds from your first sale? More materials.
What words or phrases do you overuse? Let’s do this!
How do you know when a work is finished? When it has magic!
When and where were you happiest? In my studio always. Also surrounded by nature.
What is your most treasured possession? A painting from 1977 titled La Finca that I created with my mother depicting the beauty of the rural Puerto Rico of my childhood.
Where is your ideal escape destination? The California desert. Or the Puerto Rican rainforest El Yunque.
What’s the worst survival job you’ve ever had? My first job when I moved to the United States from Puerto Rico was as a student intern answering the office phones in English. It was rough because my first language was Spanish.
What TV series from your youth best describes your approach to life? Wonder Woman.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Overthinking everything.
What is your most treasured memory? My mother and I painting together when I was a young child. I lost her when I was 12 so her memory is dear.
What makes you smile? The Sun as the giver of Life. And my two boys as incarnation of Life.
Gisela Colón Studio 2020. Image: Harry Eelman
What makes you cry? The Earth in all its beauty.
What is your go-to drink when you toast to a sale? Sea Smoke Pinot Noir.
After an all-nighter, what’s your breakfast of champions? Huevos rancheros con mucho pique!
Who inspires you? Plants and animals. Rocks, too. The Moon. The Sun. Stars. Galaxies. The Universe.
Parabolic Monolith (Xenon), 2021 Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody; image: Marten Elder
What’s your best quality? Endless perseverance. I never give up.
What’s your biggest flaw? Being critical.
Hyper Ellipsoid (Peridot Gold), 2020; Image: Marten Elder
What is your current state of mind? The world is my oyster. The sky is the limit.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Surviving my youth in Puerto Rico. Creating a new life in LA. Constantly reinventing myself. Also installing my work at the great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? Myself. I love my life.
Cover image: The artist at the Pyramids in Egypt; all images courtesy of the artist. Gisela Cólon’s work is currently on view in London as part of Frieze Sculpture London and Frieze London thru Oct. 31; in Cairo as part of Art D’Egypte thru Oct. 27; and Forever Is Now at the Pyramids of Giza thru Nov. 7, 2021.
Visit the artist at her website and on Instagram