CAROLINE MENDEZ

Mixed Media Collage Artist

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela to a Cuban father and a British mother. I was surrounded by an eclectic cultural environment, growing up in a museum-like family home brimming with artifacts and fine art collected as my parents traveled around the globe with me in tow. Form, composition and color were daily companions during my upbringing, eventually leading me to formal studies at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. I earned my B.F.A in 1997 with a focus in Graphic Design and Interactive Media. While at Ringling, I also fell in love with book arts, paper making, painting and print making. When not behind a computer, I focused heavily on these mediums. I have spent the last 20 years as a graphic designer and creative director, and currently I'm a branding and media consultant for artists and companies around the world. My extensive exploration of graphic design combined with love of textiles and handmade paper, as well as influences such as Joán Miro, Kandinsky and Robert Rauschenberg have come together to form my current fine art aesthetic.

 

My most recent works are the antidote to my professional activities as a graphic designer. As a means to break out of the box, I made a conscious decision to approach each work as a meditation, a mandala of collage where my hand is guided as much by my spirit as my mind. The results are unexpected pieces that can be rich tapestries of colors, shapes and textures that congeal to form architectural or object-based representations of the sights and sounds of New Orleans. Starting with a simple base shape, I channel spontaneous composition that is driven by my relationship with modernist architecture, jazz and minimalist design. Each piece organically evolves, reflecting the energy and dynamics of a city's evolution, as it conforms to, transforms or deforms the natural elements upon which it is built. Like a visual Jazz, the works often take unexpected motivic turns as they reach their coda. Rivers, land, lakes and nature existed first and we have layered our lives on top or around them; the work asks the viewer to reflect on the relationship between the structured and organic. How do these elements coexist? Is there beauty or tension in the layers? By using a combination of handmade paper, gold leaf, yarn, fabric and watercolor pencils, I weave a rich visual context that plays on light, texture and space. The abstraction and minimalism offers the viewer an alternative perspective from the known.

© 2018 Caroline Mendez, All Rights Reserved

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