My current drawings are made with pencil and graphite wash using opaque white synthetic paper on which the graphite has been painted, abraded, dissolved, erased, and ultimately burnished into a surface that resembles polished mirror. An early childhood memory was the pleasure of drawing with my index finger on large misty mirrors, that would quickly evaporate, and disappear. My mirrored drawing surfaces often recall early to mid-century photographic processes. Some of my drawings are photo sourced, but the ideas are triggered by pure response to the excitement and sensuousness of the material itself.
My work in the past was made with mixtures of pure white chalk, graphite, flour, and ash, also applied with my index finger. In my personal iconography, ash is the finite end of all material, while the flour is the sustenance of life. These light and dry dusts can be easily dispersed by the slightest movement of air. The vulnerability of my materials serves as a metaphor for the human condition that has potential of being erased and can vanish in a brief moment.
Often, I situate my work in a place with no vanishing point, with a vague sense of perspective diminution. This furthers the ambiguity of the work, creates a stateless space, devoid of specific location, that is not apparent in the photo.
Gale Antokal was born in New York, New York, and received her BFA (1980) and MFA from the California College of the Arts in 1984. She is a Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University in the Department of Art and Art History. Antokal held several visiting artist positions and teaching positions including the San Francisco Art Institute, Instructor of Art History at the Lehrhaus Institute, and the American College in Jerusalem. She was an affiliate faculty member in the JSSItaly program in Civita Castellana, Italy in 2015. In 1992 Antokal received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is represented by Seager-Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, CA, the Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Jackson, WY, and Amy Simon Fine Arts in Westport Connecticut. Her work is included in public, private and international collections.