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 Elena Climent  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: Illinois / Mexico      Known for: still life, religious symbols

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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Mexico City, Elena Climent is known for detailed still lifes of common place objects of contemporary Mexico. Examples of this in her work are scenes of home altars, photographs, candles, small shop interiors, family pets, food container items, and plastic toys. Unlike many of her contemporaries, her work is not despairing but is honest and genuine, accepting of reality without attempting to change it.

Her oil painting is highly symbolic of events in her own life including the rhythms of Mexico City and the tensions she feels from the ethnic mix of her parentage. Her father, Enrique Climent, was a Spanish artist and an exile from the Spanish Civil War who came to Mexico in 1939. Her mother was from a Jewish family and was raised in Brooklyn.

At age sixteen, Elena decided to become a painter and searched for stillness, beauty, and symmetry where others saw ugliness and disorder. She is primarily self-taught but studied in Mexico City, Valencia and Barcelona, Spain. Her work was exhibited for the first time in Mexico City when she was seventeen.

She lived in New York City and then settled in Chicago and is married to a University professor from Chile. She returns to Mexico several times a year to gather inspiration for her work.

Her technique is to sketch her compositions directly onto the canvas and to paint in oil the objects of her focus first and then the background later. She carefully arranges her compositions and varies the sizes of her canvas, with many of her pieces being small and intimate. Although her paintings are realistic, they are not precise enough to be photo real. Once she moved to New York, her colors became brighter. She has been inspired by Maria Isquierdo and Olga Costa, Mexican women artists who, although of a different time period, painted subjects that were relevant to their domestic lives.

Among the museums in which her work is represented is the Phoenix Art Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

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