The parallels between artistic and mystical experiences fascinate artist Sandra Gamarra. In an on-going series of paintings entitled The New Worshipper and The Apostles, Gamarra suggests that art museums are sites for pilgrimage and worshipful contemplation. According to the artist, observing works of art is, before any political or philosophical reality, an act of faith. For her exhibition at the Bass Museum, the artist has made new paintings based on photographs that she has taken of visitors looking at works of art in the Museum’s galleries. In these paintings the artist observes the observers, which provocatively alludes to the relationship between the maker, the work, the viewer and the point at which they meet in the museum.
Sandra Gamarra, a Madrid-based Peruvian artist, is best known for instigating the fictional Lima Museum of Contemporary Art in 2002, which was an imaginary collection of paintings with accompanying merchandise based on her hand-painted reproductions of works by her contemporaries. Gamarra’s method of appropriation raises questions about issues of authenticity and the status of replicas. Her work has been featured in such exhibitions as There is Always a Cup of Sea to Sail in, XXIX São Paulo Biennial (2010); Pipe, Glass, Bottle of Rum: The Art of Appropriation, MoMA, NY (2008); and Emergencies, MUSAC, León, Spain (2005). Her work is in the collections of MoMA; MUSAC, León; Tate Collection; and MALI, Lima.