The work: Monique Baqués, Abstract 9. Oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm
Vibrating with energy and tension, the work of Brisbane-based, Latin American artist Monique Baqués is striking and surprising. For Monique, Abstract 9 is a reflection of the year 2020, seeking balance and harmony amidst chaos whist remaining hopeful for the future. “I believe that life without balance is like a ship with no crew,” she says. “2020 has challenged all of us and this painting is the reflection of it.” In her combination of seemingly fundamental elements such as vertical and diagonal line, geometry and shape, Monique attempts to push the boundaries of symmetry within a visual composition. The intense colour contains an energy that is almost tangible; achieved by meticulously perfecting hues and shades and painting in several layers to ensure their opacity. Looking past the vivid colour, there is sombreness to the muted tone and brushwork of the work’s background. These softer forms, a nod to the bleak year that’s passed, give the vibrant structures vitality.