For her exhibition, I Dreamt of a Perfect Ocean, I Dreamt of Stepping in a Hole, Chantal Wnuk presented a body of new painting and sculpture. Wnuk’s work explores the delicate balance between strength and vulnerability, aloneness and company. Her figures unwillingly absorb the elements surrounding them from San Diego sun to melancholy. Real and oil painted sand forms bodies, becoming an annoying coating and sign of touch. A lounge chair acts as a protective wall between the figure and a busy beach. Her work hopes to both respect and poke fun at the awkward (yet intimate) relationship with our bodies and our environment.
I make paintings and sculptures about daily failures, living by the ocean, and being in love (or not)...I guess. Connect this thing/person to that thing/person and see if it makes it/them stronger or it/them fall over. Did the water spill? (Yes.) Does it feel tragic? (Yes.) Will it dry? (Yes.) Did you get sunburned? (Yes.) Do you always get sunburned? (Yes.) Do you look ridiculous? (Yes.) Are you coated in sand? (Yes.) Are you staring at your phone? (Yes.) Are you connecting? (Maybe...) Are you alone? (Yes.) Will they text you back? (No.) Are your contacts dry? (Yes.) Did you lose one? (Yes.) Can you see? (No.) Are you weak? (Yes.) Are you okay? (Yes.)
Chantal Wnuk was born in Houston, Texas and received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She now lives and works in San Diego. In 2012, she received the Undergraduate Professional Development Travel Grant, resulting in Girls Gone West at the Visual Arts Center in Austin, TX in 2014. More recent exhibitions include Not Quite Nothing at the San Diego Art Institute, First to Blush at Helmuth Projects, and Being Here with You/ Estando aquí contigo at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Chantal has been awarded residencies at ACRE, The San Diego Art Institute, and 1805 Gallery.
More on Chantal can be found at www.chantalwnuk.com.