Under the Blue Sun:
Fabiola Menchelli in Aperture

April 1, 2022

spread of first page of Aperture essay on Fabiola Menchelli
Aperture, Spring 2022

The beginning of a short essay on the work of Fabiola Menchelli, Under the Blue Sun.

Abstractions are generous in their faith: an offering for you, the viewer, to connect with an idea, with an emotion, with consciousness, through an alchemy of form, shape, color, line. With a minimum of descriptive detail from the visible world, abstractions can evoke concepts and dimensions often only accessed indirectly. The artist Fabiola Menchelli draws on this confluence of the material and the cosmic throughout her work. And, descriptive or not, as with any photograph, the conditions of production matter.

Under the Blue Sun No. 2 (2015-17) suggests the movement of a solar flare, and a shifting oculus of indiscernible depth. Menchelli made the series in cyanotype at an observatory at Casa Wabi, a space designed by Tadao Ando along the Oaxacan coast in the artist’s native Mexico. From this site, always oriented to the sky, Menchelli tracked the trajectory of the sun—the most elemental component of her medium—in multiple exposures.

The effect is one of layered planes, each offering a possible entry into the image. For Menchelli, the mechanical perception of the camera eye adds dimension to the limited capacities of human senses, translating an interpretive realm beyond our own.

Read the rest of my short essay and see Fabiola Menchelli’s work here. Or, download the pdf .