Inspired by the transient nature of music, Arturo Herrera (b. 1959, Venezuela) seeks the same non-objectivity in his creative practice, describing his expressive mark-making technique as “a silent cacophony.” Herrera conveys themes of fragmentation, layering and recollection through his collages, which often repurpose imagery derived from pop culture, such as children’s books and cartoons warped into abstract forms. The artist’s interest in language and collage as transformation evolved from his multicultural identity. “Being Latin American, you’re made up of so many fragments from different cultures,” he reflected in an interview with Art21. “Venezuelan culture is extremely complex, and then you’re part of Latin America and part of America itself. The European tradition is part of you because you came from there. The way that you are fragmented inside makes you stronger. I see it as a positive thing. It just informs who I am.”
Herrera grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, before earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa, and then his MFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois. He works in a variety of mediums including collage, painting, printmaking and sculpture. His work has been exhibited globally and can be found in the permanent collections of the Tate (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Art Institute of Chicago, and Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid). He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
- For other artists who reference or utilize collage in their work, check out Mel Bochner, Christo, Lesley Dill, Sam Gilliam and Wangechi Mutu.
- In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, Heidi Brandow similarly incorporates hundreds of found paper elements into her colorful mixed-media paintings. View her work.