For many artists, their paintbrush is sacred. For others, like Gabriel de la Mora, a discarded shoe or a chunk of ceiling are every bit as holy.
While much of his work features found objects, he makes a special trip to the office supply store for what he calls his “Post-it® Series.”
“I originally started the series using human hair to create drawings.” But after completing a few of these masterful works, he observed that they looked “like a book with a thousand pages, so I decided to exchange the hair for Post-it® Notes.”
Rather than notes, he prefers plastic Post-it® Flags in many different colours, randomly varying the length to make a composition.
“If the piece is set in a table, horizontally it looks like a kind of urban landscape. If it’s set in a wall, the shadow is more evident, creating a form of architecture, a kind of facade.”
The effect of transparency is critical to the design, another reason why he prefers the plastic variety to paper.
“I like the light, shadows, volume, colours, transparency, length, movement, and the composition. They offer so many different options so that each piece is totally different.”
When asked if he has a favourite colour, his eyes light up. “When I discovered the white Post-it® Flags, I was crazy creating monochrome white pieces on white paper. Without light the piece is almost invisible. Only the shadows appear.”
“I have collections of many things, most of them discarded objects.”
The projects he’s currently working on use matches, shoe soles, aluminum plates from printers, discarded 19th century cheese cloth ceilings, vintage photos and “paintings from artists with non-successful careers,” among other things.
“In some of my work, I have total control. But I also love objects that time has created. I just find them and transform them, without doing anything, without touching them physically, without controlling them at all.”
Above all he is an artist dealing with ideas, concepts and objects we tend to overlook. Whether those objects are recovered from an abandoned warehouse, a kitchen sink or an office supply cabinet, in the hands of an artist like Gabriel de la Mora, each of them serve as a reminder that beauty is all around us.