"If science is the search for knowledge, art is the search for beauty." -
Cristóbal (Tola) Navarro is a Chilean contemporary artist with a degree in Architecture with a minor in Art History from the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. He has worked with renowned architects Cazú Zegers and Emilio Arancibia, completed contemporary art research residencies in Lima and São Paulo, and exhibited his work at Galeria Artespacio and Contemporaneo Patricia Vargas in Santiago Chile.
In his series “Paper & Spray,” Tola wrinkles and folds paper, paints on the folded paper, and then finally irons the paper flat. This unique process allows the canvas — usually a passive foundation for paint — to become an acting agent in the creation of the work. In this way, all the folds and texture of the paper is captured in the work. The quality of the folds often recall an aerial view of mountains or dunes, giving them a grounding, earthy quality that allows the viewer to feel both empowered and balanced. Inspired by the manipulation of paper to create three dimensional forms, Tola’s work captures, like a fossil or a photograph, the history of the paper, creating a geometric yet organic record of its past form. The abstract lines and shapes create a variety of visual paths for the eye to follow, so each viewer can make their own way through the composition.
Tola’s work stretches the possibilities and potential of a medium to express ideas around color, architecture, and technology. His innovative treatment of simple raw materials transforms them into inspiring new structures, forms, and expansive landscapes. He engages in deep research into his materials, allowing him to create a relationship with the medium and thus be able to bring out its essential characteristics, enhancing its existing qualities and inspiring new creative horizons.