Gabriella Sanchez

Commissioned by Frieze Projects. Presented with Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles


Gabriella Sanchez, Homme or Homes, 2019, Acrylic and archival pigment prints on canvas, 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles.

Primarily working in mixed media on canvas, Gabriella Sanchez’s (b. 1988, Pasadena; lives in Los Angeles) paintings often pair text and wordplay with politically charged imagery. Drawing from her background in graphic design and illustration, her works engage the cultural connotations of typography to intercept and reconfigure our understanding of language.

For Frieze, Sanchez created a banner and signage interjected throughout the wayfinding materials on the backlot. Her images draw from cinematic portrayals of barrio culture, inspired by scenes from films such as Blood In Blood Out (1993) and Boulevard Nights (1979). Pairing the “neutrality” of san serif fonts with Old English script – commonly used in Chicanx car culture, tattooing, and graffiti writing – the artist uses the homophones 'hommes', ' homes' and 'homes' to imbricate the meanings of 'men', 'domicile' and 'friend' across French, English and Caló, the Chicanx Pachuco dialect. Other text pieces are meant to have a slower reveal, such as using light lettering for ’We Been’ above the bold word ’Here’ – a juxtaposition that may be read in relationship to the gentrification of Latinx neighborhoods and communities of color.