Arturo Herrera (born 1959) is a Venezuelan abstract artist inspired by the transient nature of music, seeking the same non-objectivity in his art. Herrera describes his expressive mark-making technique as “a silent cacophony,” offering an open interpretation of what his palimpsest-like work communicates. Themes of fragmentation and recollection are conveyed through his collages which often repurpose found images from children’s books and cartoons warped into abstract forms, as in his Untitled works from 1997-1998. His interest in the transformation of pictorial shards and of language evolved out of 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 painting, printmaking, sculpture, and collage. His work has been featured globally, in galleries such as the Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo, Brazil, the Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin, Germany, and in both the Center for Contemporary Arts and form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, NM. 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.