Artists To Watch: Carly Waito

Toronto-based artist Carly Waito was born in Manitouwadge, Ontario in 1981 and raised in Thunder Bay. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Waito co-founded the ceramic art and design studio coe&waito with Alissa Coe in 2005. The partnership is known for its elegant products and sculptural installations inspired by the natural world. As a painter, Waito has continued to pursue this inspiration, with a focus towards geology, geometry and ideas of wonder and curiosity. She has participated in a number of exhibitions, including Little Crowns (2009), The Dazzle (2010) and Specimens (2011), a solo exhibition at Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto, and Plus 1 (2011) at Sloan Fine Art in New York.

In these works, diminutive specimens of semi-precious gems and minerals are rendered in meticulous detail, exposing the beauty and logic of their structural minutiae. Yet, beyond simple imitation, Carly Waito’s reproductions imbue further worth to objects that are naturally perfect: where each specimen inherently exudes an aura, Waito has both reiterated and enhanced it. The result is a reverent homage to nature’s marvel, the faculty of humankind and the unconditional value of their synergy.

Through curating minerals, photographing them in macroscopic detail and rendering them in oil paints, Waito employs a layered process highlighting the ties between mimesis and levels of value. From the seemingly limitless depths of Smoky Quartz to the chromatic, reflective facets of Sphalerite, the geometry and beauty of each painted specimen speaks to the incredible complexities of nature’s design as well as Waito’s own facility. Each painting expands the infinitesimal traits of the artist’s tiny subjects, rendering them as detailed maps of an otherwise invisible geological universe.

(text by Narwhal Art Projects)


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