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Thais Calvarin

A 2019 School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduate is now building her artist practice. Thaïs’s studio work, both as context and content, is anchored in process: versatile and constraining paper and print-making are perfect media for her explorations. 


Paper is the quick and slow process of filtering then pressing water away from fiber. The paper process opens itself to layering before the sheet is fully formed: in the studio, Thaïs will scrape away one layer to reveal what is beneath, be it a new pigment, a different plant fiber, or an ink and acrylic drawing included within. Concealment and translucency between layers allows Thaïs to make one composition out of the convergence of many. 


Printing is convoluted and backwards and likewise allows Thaïs to layer separate images into a colliding and merging whole. Just like with paper, printing unfolds over time and in bursts. Through the printing process an image is transferred, deconstructed, and reflected. An initial sketch is translated multiple times before finally coming to life when pressed onto paper. 


Perhaps due to her multicultural upbringing, or to the evolving impact of social media throughout her life, Thaïs is acutely aware of the unstable (non)realities shaped through communication. Everything is a translation. In the studio, however, she works on each piece to make this turbulence beautiful.