The work of Spanish artist, Eloy Arribas is energetic, using a multitude of materials and lines to explore the representation of an object and the materiality of the object itself. In their production, his paintings are “almost paleontological”, revealing themselves in a sporadic fashion to him as he works. It’s only right, therefore, that the catalogue to accompany his recent exhibition Niño Fósil / Fruta de Piedra reflected his energy and spontaneity.
“We met Eloy a long time ago, while he was studying in Salamanca. We have always been very attracted to his work,” explains Madrid-based design studio Koln. “We had talked a few times about doing something together and shortly before his exhibition, he asked us if we wanted to collaborate on the design and the photography of the catalogue.”
The studio said yes, under one condition: Koln wanted to visit his studio and his village, Pedrajas de San Esteban, to understand his surroundings and references firsthand, and get to know more about the exhibited pieces within this context. “We visited his studio, his house, the forest where he takes walks and mountains near his house,” Koln recalls. “We went to the bars where he drinks with his friends, to the pig farm of his best friend, and we even got to see some bull running or ‘encierros’ that took place in the town that weekend.”
While here, Koln realised that Eloy’s work is so rooted in this environment, that it needed to form the basis of the catalogue. Wanting to produce something different to the typical exhibition catalogue, Koln decided to do something it would enjoy making in order to reflect that in the photos. It took the pieces which were going to be exhibited into the mountains and forests surrounding Eloy’s village as well to the bullring and stables. “In the end, many of the photos we took were the product of improvisation and what was emerging at every moment along with the ideas that we had already prepared,” the studio tells It’s Nice That.
With the spontaneity of Eloy’s work already captured within the photos themselves, Koln designed the publication in a similar fashion. Mirroring his paintings, the layout is free form with cut-out images and elements layered on top of one and other. Finally, the studio incorporated Open Studio’s typeface SM Maxéville. As a compact typeface inspired by movements such as De Stijl and Union des Artistes Modernes, the studio explains how “this type suited the concept we wanted to communicate”.
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