Artist of the Month: Nayda Collazo-Llorens

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Nov 01, 2018 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Nayda Collazo-Llorens, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an interdisciplinary visual artist working in multiple mediums including works on paper and canvas, video, installation works, printmedia and public interventions, among others. Through her practice, she examines how our minds perceive the world around us, dealing with concepts of navigation and mapping. 

I first heard Nayda at a PechaKucha Kalamazoo event, speaking on An Artist's Quest : Magic, Mapping and UFOs. I was so intrigued and impressed by her work, I asked if we could feature her here. Listen to her PK talk, and read more - you'll be impressed, too, with her global reach and extraordinary vision.

Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens

She notes, "As an artist, I am engaged in a multi-disciplinary practice through which I examine the way in which we perceive and process information, often dealing with navigation, memory, language, hyperconnectivity and noise.  I employ various strategies and approaches to compile marks, images, audio and text, which are often edited, remixed and restructured into what may function as cartographic systems, archives, or sensorial spaces, among others. In my non-objective mark-based works, blots and lines are structured into various interconnected systems dealing with concepts of mapping and archiving, where marks amass, connect, collide and repel each other in an organic yet systematized way. My text-based works explore post-alphabetic communication, data overload, noise, and randomness, as systems of information are examined through the use of textual animations, prints and installations. My most recent installations and public interventions have explored “sampling” as a strategy or mode of artistic practice, inviting the viewer to reflect on the complexities of the mind and the fragmented manner in which we perceive our complex world in an age that is as much about data overload and hyperconnectivity as it is about distancing and dissociation."

How long have you been an artist?
I've been a professional visual artist since 1990. 

Is your art your full-time career?
Yes, it is. 

Where do you work?  How long have you been there?
For the past eight years, I've had a studio at Park Trades Center, a building mostly dedicated to artists studios in Kalamazoo. I had a studio in Pittsburgh for about three years before moving to Kalamazoo, and in New York City before that, for about 9 years. I've also taught classes at various colleges and universities, including Kalamazoo College, Grand Valley State University, and Carnegie Mellon University. 

Do you have favorite places you like to create?
My default space for work production is my studio space, but that really depends on the project. Some larger projects are produced on-site, or require on-site or field research, while some more intimate works (such as smaller drawings on paper) are produced on the go, whether that's in a coffee shop, a public space or at home. 

Reverberación, site-specific multi-channel video installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Juan, PR, 2010. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Reverberación, site-specific multi-channel video installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Juan, PR, 2010

Reverb, site-specific multi-channel video installation, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, 2012. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Reverb, site-specific multi-channel video installation, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, 2012

Island Mapping #5, watercolor and ink on paper, 28 x 22 inches, 2018. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Island Mapping #5, watercolor and ink on paper, 28 x 22 inches, 2018

What does a typical day look like? Is there a typical day?
There is no typical day, as it depends on the particular project I might be working on, which may range from works on paper and canvas to video installations or architectural interventions. Travel is also a big part of my practice, whether for creative research, installing projects, conferences, etc. 

Locus Rackets Hypnotic #11, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2018. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Locus Rackets Hypnotic #11, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2018

Locus Rackets Hypnotic #3, mixed media on canvas, 50 x 70 inches, 2012. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Locus Rackets Hypnotic #3, mixed media on canvas, 50 x 70 inches, 2012

Across Doom Hopes the Guiding Fever, anamorphic wall drawing, LMAKprojects, New York, NY, 2012. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Across Doom Hopes the Guiding Fever, anamorphic wall drawing, LMAKprojects, New York, NY, 2012

Across Doom Hopes the Guiding Fever, anamorphic wall drawing, LMAKprojects, New York, NY, 2012. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Across Doom Hopes the Guiding Fever, anamorphic wall drawing, LMAKprojects, New York, NY, 2012

What materials do you prefer?
I am not sure that I have a preference, but I was trained as a printmaker and designer. I consider markmaking to be at the core of my practice, as expanded drawing or expanded printmedia. As part of my projects, marks may intervene a publication or a public space, a mark may function as light, audio or video signal, and may serve as language or even noise. 

Bokeh, intervention in a publication, commissioned by Point of Contact, published by Syracuse University Press, 2010. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Bokeh, intervention in a publication, commissioned by Point of Contact, published by Syracuse University Press, 2010

Revolú*tion, site-specific public intervention with adhesive vinyl, 3rd Poly/Graphic Triennial, San Juan, PR, 2012. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Revolú*tion, site-specific public intervention with adhesive vinyl, 3rd Poly/Graphic Triennial, San Juan, PR, 2012

Pleasure, Fear & the Pursuit of Happiness, temporary public intervention with adhesive vinyl at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach, FL, 2013. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Pleasure, Fear & the Pursuit of Happiness, temporary public intervention with adhesive vinyl at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach, FL, 2013 

Where/How are you inspired?
Mapping and navigation are some of the concepts behind my practice, which examines the way in which we perceive and process information. So I'm inspired by ideas and concepts related to this, whether that involves the way we perceive and navigate a particular emotion or situation, a physical or architectural space, or media overload. An example of this is the work Comfortably Numb, an installation of 2,200 framed images consisting of five years worth of clippings from printed matter, mostly news magazines, and printed text. This sampled visual information functions here as noise, detritus and bits of data, which confront, as much as invite navigation. The work explores the concept of psychic numbing and our perceptual engagement with the incessant media overload that we seem to seek and endure in our daily lives.

Comfortably Numb, wall installation with found printed matter, 2012-17. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Comfortably Numb, wall installation with found printed matter, 2012-17

Comfortably Numb, detail, wall installation with found printed matter, 2012-17. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Comfortably Numb, detail, wall installation with found printed matter, 2012-17

How do you know when your piece is done?
I see each work or project as a problem to solve, therefore the work is done once the problem is solved. 

Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?
Yes, I often work on various works, and in various different mediums at the same time, particularly when working on more complex projects that may take a long time to research and produce.  

Geo Dis/connect, wall installation with found maps and collage, 2014. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Geo Dis/connect, wall installation with found maps and collage, 2014

Geo Dis/connect 4, detail, wall installation with collected maps and collage, 2018. Artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens
Geo Dis/connect 4, detail, wall installation with collected maps and collage, 2018

If you were not an artist. what would you do?
Hmmmm... perhaps a scientist .

How can our readers find and purchase your art?
Through my website at: www.naydacollazollorens.com and through LMAKgallery in New York, http://lmakgallery.com/ 

Would you like to share anything else with us?

On my website, you can learn more, including my CV for list of exhibitions, bibliography, etc., and links to critical texts about my work. 
 

 

Copyright for all works: Nayda Collazo-Llorens. Images appear courtesy of the artist and LMAKgallery, New York. 

 

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