Whitehot magazine of contemporary art
April 07, 2007; Issue #2

“Snatch is Alchemy”

Diane Gamboa is a mainstay in the Los Angeles art scene. This town is her playing field-her home turf. Her current exhibit at Overtones Gallery, entitled: The Invasion of the Snatch, is an example of Diane’s relentless campaign for the equality, safety, respect and acknowledgement of women in Los Angeles and her universal homeland.

The Invasion of the Snatch consists of 9 (16”x20”) paintings, which seem more like 21. Diane called that her “…optical illusion…” In the foreground of each painting, sublimely present, is Diane’s iconic female figure with tiki style patterns and designs in the background. An iguana lingering on a heating pad , in her studio, could have served as an inspiration for Diane’s color palette of sea foam green, avocado, and poi.

On opening night brought a photo op and an introduction. Later the following week we were able to have a jam-packed 2-hour phone interview. Diane was extremely forthright about her personal experiences that have influenced her current exhibit. She said that she had looked up the definition for snatch to reveal that it meant a tiny slit or cut-something uncomfortable. The Invasion of the Snatch is Diane’s tribute to the Jane Doe’s that are, as she put it, “stacked up in the morgue”. Most of these unidentified women are victims of rape and murder. The 9 paintings express this outcry by appearing identical to each other but like each Jane Doe, they have their own identity. Each woman is nude except for a piece of actual cheesecloth covering her metaphoric snatch. According to Diane, some of the symbols for the cheesecloth are: a filter, cheesecake, and sanitary napkins. She also said that the paintings could be viewed as simple nudes.

During our phone interview, Diane asked me if I had already started writing this review. I said my working title was going to be Snatch as Alchemy, but that I had changed it to Snatch is Alchemy because the second title captured her message more directly. Diane said, “ punk rock saved my life.” Punk rock as a visceral ingredient contributes to Diane as an artistic alchemist who changes the chemistry of her audience at each of her exhibits. Overtones Gallery’s personal philosophy is compatible and supportive to Diane’s alchemy.

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