|Love and Play|
Christina Curiel was educated at the University of California Berkeley and received a Bachelor of the Arts in East Asian Philosophy with a focus on Zen Buddhism and Zen Buddhist art. She is currently located in North County San Diego and since 2014 has been working as a figure painter and as a social practice artist creating murals and partnering with local artist collectives and non-profit organizations for various local communities. Curiel has had exhibitions at multiple galleries and museums located in the San Diego area and has won many awards for her visual art and maintains a website selling musical compositions.
Christina Curiel is a sound artist and figure painter. Her paintings often depict a formidable situation in an eerie environment and form visual representations of the many years of experiences of living on the streets. Often considered “dark” by some, Curiel’s survival of violent crimes, the murders and suicides of family and friends, the onset of incurable illness and disfigurement, substance abuse, bodily destruction by contemporary machinery, and the many other forms of human exploitation that occur in the ‘underworld’ inspire the imagery of her oil paintings. For Curiel, a completed painting becomes the embodiment of psychological recovery.
Visually, Curiel employs the use of complex East Asian hermeneutic philosophies to the compositions of her paintings and murals, particularly the Japanese aesthetics of iki and yūgen. Iki is the theory that the most pleasurable experience is one of detachment; that is, maintaining possibility as possibility. Yūgen dates back thousands of years and is roughly translated as a “deep awareness of the universe,” or as “a longing for the moon behind the clouds” and can also defined as a form of “beautiful sadness.” A painting can be considered yūgen if there is an allusive space in the composition that can be completed only by a viewer.