Since the magazine began to request articles about analogue approaches to visual arts, I wanted to write about the work of Juan Carlos Monroy. I started to do some research about his work, and since I found his e-mail, I thought that there wasn’t anyone better than himself to talk about the importance of analogue in his collages.
Susie: When and how did you start the collages?
Juan Carlos: It all began by chance, as almost all the good things of this life. In 2006 (approximately) I received an assignment from a magazine to write an article about the design of the backs of the photographic cards the photography studios used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Madrid. This made me to do a big research on the history of photographers and to gather photographs to illustrate the article. Once written and submitted the article, I realized I had a lot of portrait photography and began to “customize.” A group of friends saw them at home, by accident, and encouraged me to exhibit them. So I did, because for me, it was like giving a second chance to those photographs forgotten. Then I presented the exhibition in Democrazy, library of design, I got very critical and commercial success. Other galleries contacted me to expose the collages and so began their path through the exhibition world.
S: How important are old analogue photographs in your creations?
JC: The photo provided is always genuine and is the basis of collage, which transforms the piece into a unique artwork. The analogue picture is almost 90% of collage, it would be meaningless without it.
S: Is your work 100% analogue or is any digital intervention on it?
JC: It’s 100% analogue, the only “digital” intervention are the fingers of my hands to cut the paper.
S: If you could make one of your characters actually exist, which of these creatures would you give life to?
JC: More than “resurrect” the characters, I’d like to “resurrect” those professional photographers portrait in Spanish that knew how to shoot royalty of the time and also knew how to shoot the boy’s first communion dress looking at camera holding a missal in his hands. Professionals such as Alfonso, Kaulak, company, Juan Bueno, Franzen, Alviach, Amador, were able to raise the photographic portrait to an art form.
S: If you had to define your artwork in 5 words, what would they be?
JC: “finiseculars photographic coollages”.
- “All – the coollages that appear in that article, are now on the walls of designers, architects, sculptors, copywriters, photographers. They are a very sensitive public to collages”, Juan Carlos Monroy.