Self-taught Plastic Artist Gabriela “Gabi” Farnell was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she continues to live today. Growing up in Argentina had a pronounced impact on Gabi’s style and work. While she demonstrated talent from a young age, have a natural ability in the arts, drawing and sketching was not something that was seen as valuable in her country at that time. She decided that to achieve her goals she needed to focus on oil painting, even if it was a medium that she did not enjoy or find success.
While traditionally Plastic Artists create or mould three-dimensional works of art, Gabi is giving the term a new meaning. She uses materials that are modified and manipulated based on her creative actions. For Gabi, this means starting from a blank sheet or canvas with no pre-conceived ideas, drafts or any pre-sketching of her work. Instead she allows her thoughts and creative mood to guide the art process. The end result is a work of art that is unique to the viewer and personally meaningful to Gabi.
Her process begins with a face, the line of a neck, an expressive hand, even a certain look. This starting point is the determining factor which guides Gabi to what is next. As nothing is pre-planned, there is a very organic feel and approach to her work, giving Gabi’s pieces an aesthetic unity – a sense of harmony and beauty in each piece. Her art may not be “pretty” in the common sense of the word – but the visual appeal is in the way her pieces have a sense of wholeness, capturing the viewer. For Gabi the piece is done when it does not “call to her” anymore.
As her work is free flowing, Gabi has many paintings that she describe as “unfinished”, works which she abandoned. This “incomplete” pieces have received significant attention – for some they were able to relate to these pieces and found the works to be powerful artistic statements. What makes her style so personally significant is that Gabi is not focussed on pleasing others or conforming in her style to be accepted within the art world. Rather, what drives her as an artist is to have the creative freedom and satisfaction to create based on her whims and feelings.
What makes Gabi’s work so interesting is not just her plastic approach to creating. Her technique itself is unusual, one that developed over time. When she first started to paint she was trying to “draw”, but with the brush, making her work very rigid and forced. Over time, she found a hybrid approach to creating, a painting style that she see as utilizing drawing techniques. This giver her art a deeply textured and layered look. With this approach, Gabi has created her own niche in the art world.
Combining traditional concepts of beauty with a whimsical feel, Gabi’s work is truly modern in approach. Her intent is to engage the viewer in conversation and to allow the audience to discover their own individual significance contained within this intimate experience. She hopes that each work generates a unique story and experience, one that is personal for the viewer. It is this powerful narrative and original approach that had led her to having her works hanging in homes of collectors across the globe.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Gabriela Farnell
I have been creating… all my life. I do not remember a time when drawing was not the only
important thing. Everything else was the things I had to do, quickly and out of necessity, so I
could get back to my papers and pencils.
It takes me around… a couple of months per work, as I superimpose materials. The drying of
each technique is essential to be able to advance. However, I work on many things at the same
time, as I am a bit scattered so that also slows the process.
When creating my go to drink is… Mate! I tend to drink it cold and bland which makes it
pretty tasteless. Honestly it is a horrible drink! But always MATE – a traditional South American
caffeine-rich infused drink.
My play list when creating includes… a lot of Spanish singer-songwriters: Alejandro Sanz,
Joaquin Sabina, Miguel Bosé, Pablo Alboran.
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner… would be Jorge Luis Borges.
I am currently binge watching… the English series based on the characters of Colin Dexter:
Inspector Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour, and then I start again. I am monogamous in everything I
The last book I read is… “La bolsa o la Vida”, by Eduardo Mendoza, my favourite
Outside of the arts, my interests and passions include… literature, theatre and cinema.
My go to comfort food is… pizza and ice cream – Dulce de Leche of course!