Origin of Fire
The ongoing body of sculptural work titled Origin of Fire is inspired by the "fundamental luminosity of the mind" which Chavez experiences while in intense states of contemplation.
These sensual and optical sculptural works are created in a trance-like state as Chavez teases out creative intuitions that arise from states of deep listening and inward gazing.
For this body of work, Chavez draws from a vast array of sources, including optical science, the late work of Piero Della Francesca and the pyramidal perspective theories of Leonardo da Vinci, John Hamilton’s Stereography, and emergent systems theoretics. Despite the diversity of her approach, Chavez has developed a distinctive and rigorously focussed practice that investigates the nature of light and the inception of the creative spark. She describes her sculptures, which are variable in dimension and site-specific, as "exploring the transcendental potentialities of the readymade." The artist achieves this through assembling some of the simplest and most essential of materials—water, flashlights, glass vessels—to an alchemical effect.
Her fascination with providing new ways of looking at the seemingly familiar is shown in the recurring motif of refracted light. Each refraction alters and enhances architectural space by proposing an ethereal virtual space, while the basis of the sculpture—dissonantly utilitarian objects—carve out an actual space for the object to occupy. The perceptual paradox of this disruptive play between image and object is an extension of the artist’s concerns: namely, the indistinct space between abstraction and figuration, mankind's enduring desire to understand and harness light and energy, how the mind reacts to different visual stimuli. Working with principles of phase velocities in light refraction, Chavez expands on her poetics of light—one which, as art historian Katie Kresser observes, "is meant to alert viewers to the way physical substances, and by analogy human consciousness, can refract real or spiritual light."
Selected Press Hamptons Art Hub