One for the readers who enjoy Magic Eye pictures, the spot the difference puzzles in weekly magazines or in fact, just shiny things. Elisa Insua is a self-taught artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who uses just about anything to create found objects with. This can be seen clearly in her mixed media assemblage mosaics that include a whole host of random items. There are the everyday objects; keys, coins, hair clips and buttons and also the more unusual, such as miniature alcohol bottles (perhaps not so unusual!), tiny my little ponies and smurfs, Toy Story’s Woody and crucifix pendants.
This all harks back to when she began her career as 16 year old teenager, using the materials that surrounded her – happy meal toys, pens, jewellery. Elisa smartly calls these items ‘resurrected trash’. There is definitely a sense of childhood playfulness, of collecting toys and sentimental knickknacks, that can be both literally and metaphorically found in her pieces. This allows for viewers to search for objects remembered from their youth, whilst also appreciating their reanimation in new bodies.
Elisa herself was inspired by Argentinean artists such as Antonio Berni, Jorge de La Vega and Grupo Mondongo, who also played with mixed media. It is this technique that she fell in love with and has evolved with: “I love the texture you can create with different objects, and I love the fact that each piece I include has its own long history (besides the message that so many little things together can say about consumption and accumulation!)”
The pieces shown are just some of her favourites, many of take a strong inspiration from pop culture. She is inspired by anything ‘from celebrities to bumper stickers, religion, cartoons, movies and even brands’, hence the mosaic style. Her found objects can be related to on a lot of levels by a wide range of people, but also have a deeper meaning, relating to ‘power, idolatry, ambition, desire and capitalism.’ We’d be curious to see what feelings they trigger in our readers – and also how long you spend trying to disassemble them with your eyes!