Antonio Martin Ferrand was born in 1947 in Spain, in the seaside town of Santander. For the past 30 years he has been creating exclusively analog collages and assemblages. His art is rich in various motifs, forms, shapes and colors: drawings of exotic fish, seashells and sea creatures cut out of pre-war atlases, yellowed maps, letters, documents and envelopes with handwritten calligraphy, colonial post stamps and countless old photographs.
The artist is sensitive to forms and colors of nature, he observes delicate surfaces of insects’ wings, structures of leaves, fish scales, patterns on seashells and fossils. He transfers the rythms of nature into his art as decorative stamps and patterns resembling African fabrics or calligraphic signs of ancient cultures.
Ferrand’s collages are dominated by warms colors of the Spanish soil: ochers, umbers, yellows and oranges. These are complimented by the colors of the sea, from vivid ultramarine to delicate indigo. Violet stamps contrast with yellowed letters and old photos in sepia. All this gives birth to a refined, aesthetic work of art. But it is not aesthetics that is Ferrand’s main goal.
Behind the tasetful world of forms and colors, there are real people, real stories, dramas and memories… In his collages we can find pieces of letters, addresses, plates with home numbers and tens of human faces… By using pieces of images from the past, the author includes in his collages their own stories, the stories of their owners. Abandoned, forgotten photos or items he places anew in his collages, giving them a new life. He assembles a new story that the viewer can interpret on his own. Ferrand’s collages, put toghether from pieces of forgotten times, are an intelligent and often ironic commentary on the contemporary world. The recurring theme of young woman is the symbol of the past. It is through her that the new life passes.
These pieces are thus a fascinating dialog between the past, the present and the future.
text by Anna Kłos
translation by Karolina Kłos