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Maya Gulassa @ Nook Gallery

Could it be that red is the only color that is continually asking for a body?
Maya Gulassa

March 9- April 6
Nook Gallery
310 51st street
Oakland, CA 94609

Diving into red, I wrote out a list of connotations: “the color of your insides”, first on the list. I meant blood, but also organs, and flesh and guts. Molten lava, the inside of the earth, is only red when moving: black when stagnant. Maybe red is just motion: “the absolute motion, the motion of life” (John Berger). Life giving, quite literally, with it coursing through our veins, as I write this, as you read this, as we live and breathe: red.

“[Geyron] thought about the difference
between outside and inside
inside is mine, he thought”
-Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson, p. 29

Geyron, the mythical winged creature, lives in a world that is red inside and out. His guts, his skin, the dirt, his cows, all red. But, he realizes here, the red inside belongs to him. Maybe for those of us who are red only on the inside, red belongs to us.

“Could it be that red is the only color that is continually asking for a body?”, John Berger asked John Christie in their correspondence documented in I send you this Cadmium Red. If I gave red a body, what would it say? What does it already say in our bodies? What words belong to red and when do we feel it? We’re supposed to “see red” when we are angry, but also see red under our eyelids, staring at the sun: looking through our skin, seeing our insides.

-Maya Gulassa


Red Party
Saturday, March, 16, 3:00-5:00 pm
Hosted by the artist, you are invited to the Red Party, where an all red meal will be served and everyone will be wearing as much red as possible. Please bring a red object that can be added to the installation within the Nook. You can either donate it to the exhibition or pick it up at the end of the show.

Maya Gulassa is an interdisciplinary artist from Berkeley, California who focuses in color theory, textiles, garment and book making. Constantly seeking out the meanings behind her connections to color, she makes interactive work that examines the ways we feel and act through the requirement of a gesture. As a person, she highly identifies with the vibrancy, creativity, and motion of the color yellow.

Nook Gallery was founded by Shushan Tesfizigta and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, with the hopes of carving out an inclusive and accessible space to support and give room for emerging artists of color, women and queer artists, to exhibit and present work. The seating nook transformed into gallery in our kitchen, gives the artist(s) a clear and unique space to work with, and present work within. Thinking about the importance of gathering around a table, what does it mean to come together for a meal or to cook together, for art, for critical discussion, for storytelling? Bringing community together is what we strive to do as artists, culture makers, curators, writers and performers in the world. The Nook Gallery offers a possibility for supporting and nurturing this gathering, telling and being together. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is the Lead Curator and Director of Programming.