With some respect, collage is an underappreciated art form – yet every time you see a beautifully composed one, you don’t forget it. It takes the perfect eye to pair multiple colors and patterns together, in a modern and clean way, yet Valerie Roybal has the design approach perfected.
Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Roybal is quoted as having grown up along a dirt road, collecting rocks and other natural objects, fluent in sign language, a baking connoisseur, dog lover, gardener, and flea market seeker. With an eclectic list, and possibly a collage in and of itself – is maybe the reason why she is so skilled at her never ending collage masterpieces, as they reflect her life so naturally.
Primarily composed and inspired by vintage, salvaged, and collected materials, the artist enjoys the process of finding materials and re-purposing them by reinventing use, intention, or aesthetic, and the transformation into something dissimilar or unexpected. A majority of her creations consist of layered surfaces: bits and pieces from discarded books and magazines, antique postcards, handwritten letters and recipes, obsolete reference material, thrift store textiles, and mysterious random objects. Her goal is for order, association, and reverence to emerge from the collecting, sorting, arranging, and placement of each accumulated piece into a whole.
Being the queen of texture, Roybal’s talent does not end in college and jumps right into embroidery. Not your grandma’s version – this collection is truly drawings with thread in the non-traditional sense that the artist does not use or start with a pattern, or a set idea of what the drawing is to become. Several of these drawings are part of a series called “Inevitability,” of which I’m interested in capturing the intricacies of natural forms such as diatoms, radiolaria, and objects and creatures imagined. The series began with inspiration from the studies of Ernst Haeckel, who fantastically captured and published natural history from the mid-nineteenth to early-20th century.
Roybal’s work has not gone entirely unnoticed, as she has shown her work in a number and variety of exhibitions and venues including The 2nd National Book and Paper Arts Biennial at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago, Tributaries and Unraveling Tradition at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque, and Biennial Southwest ’08 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Her work can be seen in the recently released book Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage (Gestalten).
Posted by Dana Pruskowski at 18 May, 2011