Biography of Arturo Herrera
A master of composition, Arturo Herrera is well known for his meticulously crafted collages that draw on the visual language of cartoons and coloring books. Piecing together paper cutouts from various sources, the artist creates wholly new compositions of shape and color that are both figurative and abstract. These collages may at times recall the formal vocabulary of Disney animations, without ever directly representing them. They then tap into the viewer's subconscious, calling on past memories to fill in the deliberately left gaps in the images—rather like a psychological coloring book. As Herrera puts it, "I'm trying to get away from specific content. Just by deleting that, it allows the viewer to enter the image, grab the references from the background, but not specifically identify them."
Arturo Herrera's unfailing belief in the fact that there are still new images to be made is the driving force of his practice, it is for this reason that he incorporates chance into his work. Herrera photographs his collages with no specific composition in mind, puts the finished roll of film in liquid, experiments with it then sends it to the lab. This process is followed by a strict selection procedure where only the most powerful images are chosen, the artist again playing with recollection and association. Deeply involving the viewer in the act of interpretation and aiming to prompt a flow of ideas and fantasies, Herrera's open-ended works are quiet pieces of introspection that have captured audiences all over the world and led to the artist's international renown.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1959, Arturo Herrera received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa and an MFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Awarded the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, New York in 2005, Herrera has exhibited at some of the world's most distinguished institutions including MoMA, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva. He currently lives and works in Berlin.