About The Artist

"My work is about a sacred place, a place that is innocent and pure, untouched by wordly strife and personal struggle. It is when I can see through the facades directly to the sublime that I can share my exuberant and joyful spirit through my paintings."

If you have ever dreamed of a more simple world where reality is combined with fantasy, then the poetic work of Gisela Fabian will enhance that experience. Her paintings depict a pure vision of an innocent and renascent future, a world full of hope and optimism as seen through the eyes of an imaginative child. Fabian creates a world of fantasy, wonder and excitement.

It was in her early childhood years, that Fabian learned to travel within herself, when she took refuge and renewal in the inspiration of fairy tales and legends. A fascination with the imagery and timeless past of myths and mysticism continued throughout her life.

A native of Hamburg, Germany, Gisela Fabian immigrated to the United States at the age of 18. Determined and inquisitive, Fabian's quest for self-discovery and fulfillment led her to Haiti, a ragged and primitive country on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola. It was there that Fabian discovered the magical appeal of Naive painting, which was to change her life forever. She says, "There on the wall before me was a painting. As I looked at it, I seemed to step into a dream. It was a dramatic visualization of a new world come to life. This canvas revealed my innermost feelings."

Captivated by the intrinsic charm of this unique art form, and with the encouragement of a close friend, she opened the Fabian Gallery on Madison Avenue, in the prominent upper East Side of New York City in 1972. For the next 10 years she pioneered the art form of Modern Primitive Painting, also referred to as Naive Art in the United States, specializing in international Naive art, with an emphasis on Haitian Art. It was in her gallery in 1974 that the renowned artist Thomas McKnight had his premier exhibition in America.

Interestingly, Fabian didn't discover that she was an artist until after she was a business woman first.  To her surprise, one year after opening her gallery, her own artistic abilities were awakened, when at the urging of her friend, she picked up a paint brush for the very first time. She says, "It's as if, I had to open my own gallery to discover that I, too, was an artist!". The talent she possessed was recognized immediately, and she has since shown in galleries around the world and in selected museums. Through out her artistic career, Fabian was a purist and remained entirely self-taught. Her personal vision and inner conviction kept her work consistent, untouched by contemporary art trends and outside influences.

Her whimsical style transcends conventional boundaries, giving her work a timeless quality and universal appeal, where, almost surrealistically, the past and present blend. Myth fuses with reality, the fantastic with the commonplace, often with dreamlike qualities, similar at times to metaphysical painting. Modern cities and Noah's Ark co-exist in harmony on the same canvas. Her cities are dream-scapes; her lyrical landscapes and seascapes sparkle with meticulously rendered detail, frequently reflecting the environment of the creator. Her humor is often quite subtle, although there is also a quality of special directness and a liberty of vision that creates a genuine and human expression. Fabian's paintings seek beauty in simplicity. Her paintings make people smile and feel good in our sometimes chaotic and ever-changing world. They create peace within.

In the early years of her artistic career, Fabian painted to escape the tensions of business. As the years passed, however, the simultaneous demands of the business woman and that of the successful artist began to conflict. After intense soul searching, she chose to close her gallery in 1980 and begin funneling the process of self-discovery through her paintings full time. This was an important period in her painting career, a time when she would reevaluate the meaning and purpose of her life.

During her career, Fabian's work has been included in several books; American Folk Art of the 20th Century, La Cite' et les Naifs and Liberties with Liberty. Her work has been on tour for two years with the Museum of American Folk Art, New York, and is in the permanent collection of the Musée d'Art Naif, L'Ile de France, Paris, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Riverside Art Museum, California. She has also won an award by "Groupe Henri Rousseau" in an international exhibition in Switzerland. This show was juried by one of Europe's leading art critics, the late Anatole Jakovsky, writer and author of the art dictionary "Peintres Naifs".

In 1989, her own world changed while touring the West Coast of the United States. It was then she discovered what would become her new home in the "Alps" of Southern California. She left the skyscrapers and chaos of New York City for the towering Ponderosa pines, black bears, and bald eagles of the San Bernardino Mountains, where she tragically finished her life earlier than expected.

"To me, life is a never-ending story which is full of humor, and is very magical. I believe in the magic of life. If you allow the magic to be, it will become part of you. I see with my soul, and from this vision I paint with an uplifting interpretation of life."

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