About Studio Practice
“I'm fascinated with two opposing sides of everything. The cause and effect of certain circumstances, between chaos and order, birth and death, growth and decay, day and night. My work is cyclical, tied to the universal pattern of creation and destruction. Nature requires a balance of opposition, the negative and the positive.” In her studio, Robin enters a different zone, putting her whole being into her practice until she nearly disappears. She works intensely for a period of time, and then will take a break and turn everything off, “no TV, no phone, nothing” in favor of spending time walking in Central Park. “I love it because I feel free. I can just let go.” The way Robin works is similar to narrative construction or musical composition, with a light introduction to set up the mood, a layout of issues and challenges, concluding ultimately with a resolution. “I make and destroy my work, at least two-three times with any given piece...in many ways I am a force of nature too. It’s fun.” To the credit of her talent and determination, Robin is largely self-taught, although she has had some influential mentors who recognized her potential. She remembers the advice of a former professor from Harvard, who said to Robin “Never stop writing, and can you please read all of Virginia Woolf’s books?” Beyond her message to viewers, Robin is thoughtful about the materials used in her mixed media practice and spends hours on research, “It’s a type of alchemy, “ she says, “to always assure that my work is of archival quality.”
On a typical morning, Robin gets up around 4am, and either reads, or dives into her current painting. Around 6am, she’ll break to make breakfast for her daughter and take her to school. After getting organized and ready for the day’s work, she’ll head back into the studio around 10am. This routine assures her the ability to be spend the time in her studio being open and playful, unafraid to break the rules.
Make A Wish Series 2017
In her Make A Wish series of paintings, Robin uses gestural brushstrokes which she likens to casting a fishing line or the motion of conductor’s baton. The series toes the line between abstract and representational. Her color palette is restrained yet bold. She uses red to represent desire, light, love, knowledge and power; white to show beauty, innocence, purity, peace and joy. Robin says “Black is what we do in the world, our decisions and actions.”
Make A Wish (Painting)
The viewer will notice a wispy silhouetted self-portrait of the artist on the right side of the canvas, framed within overlapping circles which represent the seasons. The saturated red field of thick paint in the center is a heart. On the left, the negative space suggest a lion, “blowing energy into the universe."
Jagged Edge Series:
Not limited to painting, Robin also creates mixed media sculpture. Forming three towers: Earth, Man, and Heaven. The artist poses the questions, “Where are you?” “Who are you?” and encourages viewers to look down into the center of light slatted wood towers, seeking the answer. At the base of each tower is a mirror, there is nothing for viewers to discover- the answer to Robin’s question is to find the sanctuary within themselves.
Marissa Robin Abendaño is an artist living and working in New York, NY. She is the daughter of a medical doctor and university professor. When she left her home in the Philippines to travel, Robin was struck by the beauty of a particular little church in Rome, as well the Sistine Chapel. After establishing her home in New York, she enrolled at Christie’s education program in modern art connoisseurship, where she began to establish her own collection.
She was a leader at Art Basel, attending VIP events in both Miami and Switzerland since 2003. In addition to inspiration from travels and from Christie's, she frequents The Metropolitan Museum, “because they simply have everything, ” as well as many galleries, local and international.
Her collecting and studio practices inform Robin’s ultra-contemporary style, making her a global citizen of undefined cultural space.
Education (Poetry, Harvard Extension and Stanford University; Literature and Philosophy, University of Oxford; Modern Art And Its Market, Christie's Education; Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Texas, Dallas)
“When you read so much you realize you don’t know anything; the more aware you become of how little is actually understood about the world.”
“People think I’m clueless, and then they are surprised when I have something to say. They barely scratch the surface.”
“I’m interested in the interconnection of people, and how in the end, we all seek simplicity.”
“There is always beauty and love in every corner, if we choose to see it.”