Dunia Barrera- (b. Madrid, 1979) is a collage artist currently living and working in Munich, Germany. Barrera comes from a photography background, with her work having been exhibited in a solo exhibition at Photo España in 2002. Now focused on the medium of collage, her work has been exhibited at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, CT in the United States and at Gallery Anspach in Brussels, among others. She has been featured by Contemporary Collage Magazine and in the publications of Fragmented Collective.
Her work is in the collections of the Anthropology Museum of Madrid, the Subway System of Madrid and the Museum Cristobal Gabarron in Valladolid.
My collage work revolves around language. My main influences are my love of typography, Futurism, and architecture. For me, collage is the perfect medium to express myself. The idea of liberating letters from the meaning we give them as a society fascinates me. Most of the time, I like to challenge what we think we read by giving the letters other shapes and losing parts of the words in order to question our brains’ automatic responses. It is extremely interesting to see how we think we read a word that wasn´t there or how we are influenced by typography, colors, and design. Sometimes I use a word or a sentence in my collages as an exercise of stream of consciousness; most of the time with a pinch of irony and humor.
The materials I use in my collages are often pieces of posters torn down from the streets in Munich or from other destinations where I have traveled. I am interested in found materials as I like to see them as serendipitous objects waiting for me. I then combine the found materials with Life magazines from the 40´s to the 60´s, architecture magazines from the 60’s, old travel lodges, and old German books from the 80’s about memorizing words or learning to read faster (I found one of these on the streets in Munich and it has become a regular in my work). There is something special about the feel of these magazines, their smell and aesthetic.
As an artist with a background in photography, I am attracted to black and white images. They transport me to another era where light and contrast played a big role. They say a lot with less. Additionally, black and white images bring me back to my first days developing my own photos in the laboratory. The flow I have when I am working now and the way I decide what goes where also aligns with my photographer mind.
Apart from the language elements, I am drawn most of the time to male characters. I think figures of men in 50´s magazines have a special allure that works with my taste. These male images from vintage magazines often exude both a sense of rigidness and elegance due to the formality of fashion of those days. Sometimes I highlight those attributes, other times I use them in a humoristic way to contrast with images of women in these vintage magazines who were seen more as decorative items than individuals. When I work with these images, I like to incorporate elements of color – especially light blue, green, and red. For me, this adds the aesthetic taste that I feel attracted to, due to my liking of the Constructivism, Avant Garde, and Bauhaus movements. However, I don’t work with a specific plan in mind and prefer to let my work progress intuitively. I let my process flow and show me the way.