In her “Letter Collages”, artist Catalina Viejo Lopez de Roda – originally from Malaga, Spain and now living in Hudson, New York – conveys colour-coded messages to concrete figures like her own body and the people she knows, and also to more abstract phenomena like emotions (“Happiness”) and states of mind (“Overcoming My Fears”). The series is pure consciousness translated into minimalistic little blocks of varying shades, and should be experienced and felt intuitively rather than “reasoned out” in definite terms.
Catalina explains: “Each of my collages is a letter composed in colour, form and pattern. The recipient of a letter might be real or conceptual; a person, a feeling, a place, a song. I consider what I want to say and to whom I’m saying it, but instead of communicating through text I translate my thoughts and emotions into an arrangement of shapes and colors. I cut and glue each individual piece of paper, building ‘sentences’ and ‘paragraphs’ until a fully formed letter develops.”
Catalina further emphasises the importance of written communication and mentions the intentions behind her innovative experiments: “To take the time to focus on writing a letter expresses a sense of caring for the recipient and deepens the intimacy between writer and addressee. Unlike the fleetingness of speech, personal letters take time to write, they take time to read and they have a permanence which can be revisited over and over again by the reader. The hand-written letter is an intimate form of communication. My aim is to establish a connection with the viewer by transforming the nature of an enduring tradition that has been so integral to human relationships. I have chosen to replace the discursive and explicit qualities typical of written correspondence with a more abstract interpretive character in the belief that I might convey a deeper sense of what my feelings are for the subject.”
Catalina holds a BFA from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts (2005) and an MFA from Hunter College in New York City (2014). Apart from assembling collages, she paints and draws. Her visual language is based on images taken from her memories and dreams. Through her art, she aims to examine the ambiguities present in self-perception and human relationships.
Most recently, in 2016, Catalina participated in “Double Visions” curated by Craig Bloodgood at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA. She is currently participating in the exhibition “Representing Rainbows” in GP Presents, New York City, curated by Lisa Corinne Davis. Her work can be found in many private collections including those of Guy Wildenstein, NY and Ethan Cohen, NY.
Images used with permission.