An Unfinished Conversation with Artist Auguste Garufi


An Unfinished Conversation with Artist Auguste Garufi

An invitation to visit a studio in Red Hook on an (obscenely warm, 65 degree thank you climate catastrophe) January day, was welcome…

 It is a rare thing indeed to walk into an artist’s space and know you are in a place of poetry. It was not only the poetry itself, texts printed and incorporated as structural elements to larger work, but the weight and simultaneous lightness of enormous paper hangings juxtaposed to considered installations, fragments, thoughts, artifacts, heavy metallic vases, delicate canvases, the space between each piece resonated deeply days later. The space as a whole would change with each visit; like walking through the park over the course of a season, the light weather dependent, fungi growing and decaying, my memory of his space had that organic quality of a living organism, a fluidity, a clarity, so I asked for a return visit.

Auguste and I had a lovely, quiet conversation about x and y and a little bit of z. At the time we were both excited about his upcoming UN project –and I began working on a large article including a follow up interview. And then…well we all know what happened next…social distancing and stay-at-home orders and fear rolling in on waves of uncertainty. And the meeting was cancelled, the article –now this article– was no longer a priority.

 And yet. I find myself looking at Auguste’s work more frequently. It’s delicate, transient nature somehow comforts me and gives me respite. Even if it’s simply on a digital screen. I look forward to a time in the future when we meet again for another intime exchange in his studio. The light shining in, in this otherwise derelict corner of Red Hook, but I did not want to wait to share some of his work with you.

Below are some of my favorite pieces by Auguste.  Discrete objects and a reminder of the beauty and fragility and transience of each passing day.

“As we exist, we are where we are and navigate by feeling our way through all obstacles of the universe. There is gravity, velocity and mystery, forces we exert and forces acting upon us, both seen and unseen. But all are present in our memory and will be with us as we return to the other side where we are all together.”

— Auguste Garufi, Artist Statement

in Auguste’s studio. See more of his work here

-Karen L Dunn