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Tola Navarro


Tola Navarro, born in 1984 in Caracas, Venezuela, is the grandson of a sculptor and the son of a Chilean poet. He has a degree in Architecture with a minor in Art History from the Universidad del Desarrollo. In 2016 and 2018 he participated in contemporary art research residencies in Lima and Sao Paulo respectively. Tola has exhibited at Galería Arte Espacio, ArtStgo and Faxxi. In 2019 he is invited to a residency in Contemporary Art in Sao Paulo, and in 2020 after his father passed away, he decides to build a permanent workshop in Batuco, Chile. My grandad once told me "You just have to see, beauty is everywhere." My work comes from a need to search for beauty in everyday stuff. In studying Architecture, some concepts really stayed with me; first the concept that a building must "belong" to a specific site, buildings must be part of and have a relationship with their environment. I search for materials that are common in construction sites. In architecture, light is everything, space is constructed by light, so I try to find the light or shadows that make up spaces.

In his series “Paper & Spray,” Tola wrinkles and folds paper, paints on the folded paper, and then finally irons the paper flat. This unique process allows the canvas — usually a passive foundation for paint — to become an acting agent in the creation of the work. Inspired by the manipulation of paper to create three dimensional forms, Tola’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. The abstract lines and shapes create a variety of visual paths for the eye to follow, so each viewer can make their own way through the composition. Tola’s work stretches the possibilities and potential of a medium to express ideas around color, architecture, and technology. His innovative treatment of simple raw materials transforms them into inspiring new structures, forms, and expansive landscapes. He engages in deep research into his materials, allowing him to create a relationship with the medium and thus be able to bring out its essential characteristics, enhancing its existing qualities and inspiring new creative horizons.

Paper light is an exploration of the spray on the volume, a volumetric embodied on a flat surface. I use origami techniques and volumetric stencils to create patterns of light that gives the paper itself. A work that was three-dimensional, like a sculpture, which falls on the plane. Paper light is the exploration of an objective art, in the sense that it is a visible and understandable object as such. They are a series of works whose creation is especially specific, in that the work can only be created in this way. A work that does not lie, does not try to be anything more than what it is. The wrinkle is that which breaks the order, it is that imperfect and chaotic in a world of order and control, that gives it dynamism and complexity. That is life itself, it is those things that we cannot control that irritate us, but at the same time they are the things that give meaning to our lives. In the same way that the wrinkle is something unique to the paper, our imperfections are what show us our own humanity.

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"Paper and Spray"

2022, November - Lisbon

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