Magazine article School Arts

Arturo Herrera

Magazine article School Arts

Arturo Herrera

Article excerpt

"Being Latin American, you're made up of so many fragments from different cultures. 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. And being born in Latin America and living in the United States, you get accustomed to accents and the way people speak. Fragments of voice intonation, the way they pronounce and use words. I find it very rich to be able to identify those fragments of language. So maybe fragmentation and the way language gets transformed and recycled could be informative to my work ... a correlation between the visual language I use and spoken language--the way we clearly identify a huge amount of information through very short gestures or intonations of voices or fragments of words. The visual fragment carries a lot of associative meaning in the same way.

"I think my interest in popular culture, cartoons, and signs developed because these elements were easily accessible. They're inexpensive. They were all around in stores--Salvation Armys, Goodwills. So you could actually make works very cheaply using glue, scissors, and paper. So that allowed me to be able to cut and find fragments that were richer than the actual pages where they came from. Juxtaposing those fragments created other images with surprising effects. So then I kept going.

"To be able to paste two or three pieces of paper, you have to achieve that through cutting. But I think the most essential part of collage is imposing or juxtaposing--to glue a piece of paper on top of another piece of paper. So that is the essential aspect of collage. Cutting allows you to concentrate on the essence of the fragment that you want to isolate. But collaging means gluing, that's really the most important thing. …

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