Inspired by the manipulation of paper to create three dimensional forms, Tola Navarro’s work captures shapes the history of the paper, like a fossil or a photograph, creating a geometric yet organic record of its past form. He was born in 1984 in Caracas, Venezuela and has a degree in Architecture with a minor in Art History from the Universidad del Desarrollo.
How did you get into art?
One of the first memories I have is painting with watercolors in my schoolyard. All my life I was interested in expressing myself through painting and drawing. Later I studied architecture, where I was able to experiment with many different materials. It was at the age of 30, that I began to take seriously the work of being a professional artist. It was a slow work of persevering exploration that brought me achievements.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
My work begins by folding and crumpling heavyweight paper, transforming it into a sculpture, to this sculpture I apply spray paint and then iron the paper. Destroying the three-dimensional shape but keeping the impression left by the form. The final result shows all the manipulation of the paper.
I call it “Paper lights" because the paint reflects the light and shadow of the paper. The result is organic, but realistic. Abstract geometric but with realistic information.
How do you go about developing your work?
It all started with developing paper and wire sculptures. Painting the crumpled paper and then stretching it I started to realize the phenomenon that was happening. It looked like mountains and valleys. Then I intensified the idea of making it look like a wrinkle, experimenting with dozens of types of paper. Today I am exploring all the possibilities of paper, this brought me closer to origami, a geometrical way of manipulating paper.
Who or what influences you?
Architecture was my first inspiration, the monumental forms that play with light in a wonderful way. I was also inspired by the origami work of David Huffman and Polly Verity.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
I am always exploring new forms and new figures, I feel like a child discovering drawing. Today I am working on a series of works about the human body, figures and faces that remind me of Egyptian sculptures.