Published November 05, 2020
Skeletons floating, dancing, celebrating, and living vibrant lives abound in the paintings and sculptures of Paola Germar. This happy recurring iconography has reconciled with the hidden decay and signs of death in beauty, fashion, and adornment. For instance, she mentions that nettles, a spiny delicate plant, thrive in soil rich in phosphorus, a substance emitted by decaying bones. The Germar gravitates to this duality, hence an exhibition called "Hints of nettle amongst fox gloves and pink petticoats."
Her colorful skellies call to mind cultural traditions, such as Dia de los Muertos, that depict skeletons in festive, fantastic, even mundane situations. It's a world of imagination that she has honed. Violet, for example, is a life-sized female skeleton who lives in her room and that she has costumed for years to reflect her mood. And as one used to the game of dress me up and as a fashion designer, she creates tableaus rich in humor and of daintily clothed bony humanoids in lively salons, tea parties, and similar fancies -- situations where she wants to be.
Germar turns her meditations on the transitory and fragile nature of the body and female beauty into soft sculptures of bones, skulls, muscle, innards, and skin. Employing sewing techniques and materials such as filigree, fabric, and sequins, she presents the body and its chopped, dissected, frayed parts as ornaments. They resemble items to be worn but still retain a quality of medical or museum displays.
Paola Germar has had several solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. In 2018, she participated in an artist's residency program at Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan.