In my work there is a direct relationship between the role of paper as resource, the images that contain, and the social situations that arise and are constant reminder of failed solutions to the challenges of contemporary times. Consistent with the use of collage as an expressive medium all along in my career, I introduced in 2004 a new series entitled “Paper Archaeologies”. I use, like pieces of a mosaic, fragments of images originally published in print media linked to current events whose intention is to verify the accuracy and content of the information.
The selective use of images in print media, and their possible interpretation is accompanied by an intent whose target – according to the media, is reporting the truth, and at the same time stimulating the curiosity for the news and another reactions among those who perceive it, necessary conditions for the consumption of information. Managed in this way, news, image and information implicitly generate morbid aspects that encourage the receiver to consume more, accept or reject their veracity.
At another level, illustrated news is visually associated with the inability of man for solving conflicts he creates: war, displacement, corruption, intolerance, lack of ethics, degradation, hypocrisy of behavior, and death.
In my work I deconstruct those images and with the fragments elaborate others that at first glance are plastic and aesthetic, beautiful, pleasant, intriguing in its appearance. My work resembles that of an archaeologist who tries to reassemble what in his judgment corresponds to the entity where such fragments come from, when confronting a number of scattered pieces. That “reassembled” entity, although we are not sure responds to reality, recreates a imprecise truth when its reorganization is complete.
The detailed exploration of the new images connects with the memory stored in the brain, a selection that by its own nature is induced selectively. The new image, however, is subject to other interpretations. This allows an interaction not calculated between the spectator and the work from a purely visual experience derived, and possible only to fragmented information.
USA – Colombia
About Félix Angel
Born in Medellín, Colombia. Studied painting and drawing at Medellin’s Institute of Fine Arts, receiving a half scholarship to continue his studies the following year, but instead enrolled in the School of Architecture of the National University of Colombia (1967), graduating as an Architect in 1974. Simultaneously with his architecture studies, he pursued his career as an artist, studied ceramics for two years with his Aunt Silvia Ferrer (1968-69), and taught at the Instituto de Artes and the Colegio Mayor de Antioquia, in the areas of architectural draftsmanship, and advertisement.
Received First Prize at the II Salón de Arte Joven, a competition held at the local art museum, the Museo de Zea (1971, currently Museo de Antioquia). Presented his first solo exhibition in Medellín at the Banco Grancolombiano (1972), introduced by the Colombian novelist Manuel Mejía Vallejo. The same year received an award at the III Salon de Arte Joven, and in 1973 First Prize, again, at the same salon, and exhibited in the Colombian cities of Cali and Popayan. In January of 1974, showed his work in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and in September visited Washington, D.C., where participated in a group exhibition at the Organization of American States titled “Five Artists from Medellin”, with great success. In November of the same year, was nominated to the National Award at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos, in Bogotá.
Felix Angel has received several distinctions and appointments, including awards at the biennials of Mexico City (1980), and Montevideo (Uruguay, 1981); Mayor’s Award for Visionary Leadership of the Arts (Washington DC 2011); and was honored by the Museo de Antioquia along with other eleven artists as “masters” of his generation (2014).
Has served as curator of more than 100 international exhibitions (including all countries of the Western Hemisphere, and Spain, France, Sweden, Norway, Italy, and Japan), writing most of the catalogues, and contributing with his advice to a number of institutions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States; has lectured in more than twenty universities in the United States; has been invited as Juror.
in art competitions in San Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela and The United States; has served as Commissioner on the Arts and Humanities for the City of Washington (2002-2007). Currently he is a Contributor Editor to the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS) of the Library of Congress of the United States of America (2000-2010). In 1992 was called by the Inter-American Development Bank, in Washington, D.C., to implement the IDB Cultural Center, becoming its Curator, and serving as Director since 2000 until his retirement in 2011.
Public collections include those of the Bass Museum in Miami, the Blanton Gallery of the University of Texas, the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, New York Public Library; Riverside Museum of Art, Washington D.C.´s Art Museum of the Americas (OAS), and Essex Collection of Latin American Art, in England.
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Art Historian, Critic, Winner of the National Critic´s Award, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arte al Día, International, No. 128, 2009
“Artist, art critic, and cultural manager, Félix Ángel presented in the main exhibition space of ArteXArte gallery, in Buenos Aires, the exhibition Arqueologías de Papel, curated by Eduardo Medici. The show featured collages and collage photo-editions, fragments, colors and textures in images excerpted from the media to problematize his relationship with them and allow the viewer a second reading. The artist calls into question the accelerated rate of information in the world around us, composing his works with stripes and bands that have its origins in scraps of magazines, newspapers, posters and advertisements. Thus, he arrived to a kind of geometry that generates angles, repetition and symbols, plays with illusion, and debates information.”
Artist, Paris, France, 2009
“The bright, shiny colors of glossy magazines interact with the opaque, velvet tonality of black and white daily periodicals, unfolding Angel’s aesthetic discourse. Photos are clipped and accumulated over a period of time by theme, sometimes taking many weeks. The assemblage and paste up of these small surfaces on acid-free cardboard generate new images, which are cut into little pieces, like tiles, and then regrouped in an orderly fashion, as in ancient mosaics or modern geometric composition. Hues and textures capture our eye and attract us. Only when we penetrate “inside” the work do the gathered fragments connect with our memory and we understand the message, perceiving a notion of reality that sometimes we wish to forget. Ángel´s recent work is a process that goes from de-constructing to re-constructing; we think we have a perception of something and connect certain visual patterns. The final effect may be disconcerting but, at the same time, it is highly evocative and uplifting.”
Cultural Secretary of the Instituto Italo-Latinoamericano, Rome
Curator of the Latin American Pavilion at the 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 53rd Venice Biennial
Rome, Italy, January 2008
“The beauty in this new series by Félix Ángel does not disguise its provocative character. The transformation of the relationship between image and text determines its syntax, that is, the formal surface of the collage, while its content – but not the subject – inevitably links voice and sight, creating a “visual commentary” about whatever he has selected and organized in a new context. He creates an ambivalent space ruled by an unpredictable structure construed by strongly emphasized chromatic sensations that metaphorically and symbolically circle around topics that intrigue him. The fragments of paper recomposed by color association, texture and intrinsic symbolism, acquire a sign-like value on the supporting surface. In the development of the collage, the elements incorporated configure a pictorial discourse of abstract representation. The artist resorts to these resources and his own experience to produce a work that responds to our most current and contemporary reality.”