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CORPUS SECRETUM (body secret)

Updated: Aug 22, 2023


Works by Ghislaine and Lando Fremaux-Valdez

On view June 30 - August 19, 2023


Program Gallery


Art Statement:

Bodies are keepers of secrets, as they operate largely outside the reaches of consciousness and vision. This work is our endeavor to mine the body’s secrets and to invent what it will not disclose. Our drawings visualize this body through the lenses of medicine, religion, and love – each of which offers a distinct account of what this body is, what it’s for, and how to care for it. Unsettling the binaries of internal/external, subjective/objective, and emotional/clinical, we envision the lover who is also the medical patient, the act of worship that is both chaste and erotic, the human who is both saint and beast, and this flesh which is both self and stranger. Portraying only our own bodies, we “perform” surgical procedures, intimate genuflections, and feats of miraculous healing on ourselves and each other in these drawings, and serve as the stewards of one another’s secrets.


We often fabricate our reference imagery through digital collage, which enables us to "transplant tissue," lifting the skin from one body and grafting it onto another. In physically collaged works, we enact this same process with parts cut from our own drawings. We build the bones of each piece with charcoal, the mass with gouache, and the skin with chalk pastel. The immense scale makes the viewer an inhabitant of the work, drawing them into intensely intimate proximity with the bodies portrayed, unimpeded by a frame.



Artist Bios:

Ghislaine and Lando Fremaux-Valdez are a collaborative partnership. Both are principally pastellists, but are also painters, and each claims portraiture as the center of their artistic universe. They undertake the ideation and execution of each piece collaboratively, often drawing shoulder to shoulder, or frequently alternating. The drawings follow from long conversations about their own relationship, the visual cultures of medicine and religion, and the responsibilities of figurative art. They are married and live in Lubbock, Texas.


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