Carmen Gaitán

Looking Sideways

2019

To look sideways has always been a way to avoid looking at the truth. My piece uses a nineteenth century Mexican painting of a beautiful woman sitting on a rock, looking sideways nostalgically towards Europe. The painter used this work to send a critical message to the government that had restricted funding for art students to travel to Rome. Rather than expressing his complaint directly, he used this painting as a vehicle to voice his commentary. Looking sideways is still used to cut off a marriage, a friendship or a lover. To not face the other, to run away, is an escapist and cowardly act. 

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