Recently, Antonio Carrau has been making collaged works out of “glace paper” – paper that’s coated with a lacquer to give it a smooth and occasionally glossy appearance. Often used by schoolchildren in his native Uruguay, it comes in 10×10 sheets, and the limited colour palette “works really well” for Antonio, who has distinguished a signature aesthetic of collaging these papers together into wonderful compositions.
“I studied graphic design in school but my ‘artistic’ practice is mostly self-taught”, Antonio tells It’s Nice That. Though he is evidently still influenced by the crispness of graphic design, his vibrant collages lie somewhere between abstraction and reality, as well as “pattern and the visually potent”. Whatever the composition the visible textures, formed from the collaged bits of paper pasted on top of each other, elevate the image into the three-dimensional.
“I mainly work in an open-ended exploration of one idea that is triggered,” says Antonio. Once he decides on this starting point, “it’s all about adding layers of paper and solving problems until it looks finished.” For the illustrator come designer, this repetitive process of adding layer upon layer creates a “richer result” as the layers of paper create deeper textures with slight drop shadows. He adds: “The story of how the image was made can be seen; the remains of the glue and the cut and pasted layers” all adds volume to the hand-crafted compositions.
For this Uruguayan creative, his process is so intuitive to physical gestures that he often watches television while making work, and listens to music almost all day long. “Music helps me get lost in the work,” he adds on his process. “I find that if I stay constantly active, almost anything can inspire me. It’s harder to get the rhythm back once I stop for a while.” As for the future, presently Antonio has “no idea” as to what is in store for him. He remarks that “the only thing I know is that I love creating images and will always continue to do so, I would also like to make much more work than I’m currently producing”. Here at It’s Nice That, we can certainly imagine him expanding his career as a highly commissionable illustrator.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.