'FIGURAS' by Maite y Manuel

Engaging in a passionate battle of thick gestural brushstrokes whilst combining drawing, abstraction and representation... Maite and Manuel focus on the play between the felt and the perceived. Maite (b.1996) and Manuel (b.1991) are a painting duo from Uruguay and currently reside in Mallorca, Spain. In 2018 they began drawing together and in 2019 they opened up “Gabinete Exquisito” a design studio focused on drawing and mascot design. After 3 years of running the studio they decided to change paths and evolve from drawing to painting.

By physically reacting to the medium of paint and canvas, energetically the works come to life from a personal place and a place of confrontational tangibility and intangibility. For ‘FIGURAS’, a central figure is present as a starting point, a familiar figurine, as a way of getting rid of over complications of depiction. Next the dance between the canvas and the painter begins, it is made in the moment with a sense of impulsivity but quiet sensitivity. A spiritual, and emotional experience where sentiment is let in, tied with memory and nostalgic embodiment.

Their memories and nostalgia from Uruguay where they were born and raised are also a significant source of inspiration for the duo, evoking a sense of place and cultural belonging. Their work celebrates the joy of experimentation, curiosity and the power of memory.

‘FIGURAS’ acts as a middle ground between self portraiture and self realisation. “...The titles are not intended to describe the paintings, but tell us the order in which the series was painted, if you pay attention you can tell which were painted which day, you can see the variations in rhythm. Everyday I'm a new painter, everyday we try to copy ourselves...” This method yields a dynamic, layered, and unfiltered language, making it challenging to distinguish one from the other. The duo draws inspiration from their memories and nostalgic feelings of growing up in Uruguay, embodying a strong connection to place and culture. Their paintings embrace the thrill of experimentation, curiosity, and the influential force of memory.