And if they accompany us every day, they come to be part of ourselves.”
For us at Toi, it doesn’t seem right to call curating a job. The activity of selecting such talented artists from all over the world, communicating with them, and bringing their art to you, our visitor, is such a joy, that it’s more like a passion, a labor of love.
In the process of getting to know our artists and their art, we have discovered that our artists are incredible people with amazing stories. We have learned how their art is inspired by many different aspects of their lives: traveling, music, books, and their daily lives in whichever part of the world they live in. We are excited about this and want everybody else to get to know about these artists and their inspirations, too.
When we look at an art print without knowing something about the artist and their inspiration, we miss the way that the artwork is connected to a bigger story in which love, art, talent, and the artist’s particular perception of the world come together.
“Artists in Motion” aims to introduce you to our artists and their worlds; to allow you a glimpse of their sensibilities and unique perspectives, and the ideas, experiences, people, and places that help inspire their work. Through this series, we hope to give you an idea of how our artists create meaning through the unique works of art that you will take home.
Eleonora Arroyo (Argentina)
Eleonora Arroyo is a well know and prolific artist who lives and works in Buenos Aires. She graduated from The Prilidiano Pueyrredón School of Fine Arts, and her illustrations have been published in books in Argentina, Chile, México, and Spain. Eleonora has participated in several individual and group exhibitions around the world, including the Biennale of Bratislava (Slovakia) and The Children's Books Argentine Illustrators Fair in Bologna, Italy. She has illustrated texts by renowned international writers such as Juan Gelman, Anton Chekhov, and Rubén Darío.
In 2012, Eleonora was nominated for the Honor List of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Argentina, which nominates Argentine candidates for the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Awards and for the International IBBY-Asahi Award yearly.
She has also worked on animation and in shadow-puppet theater.
Her wonderful work talks about feelings and emotions, is filled with figures that are like characters upon a colorful stage: it invites us to sit quietly and daydream about the captivating stories that she depicts in these little worlds.
1. Did you know you were going to be an artist from the beginning?
[At the Pueyrredón School] I started a Fine Arts career with the vague idea that this was what I liked, but I wasn’t spending a lot of time painting or drawing. Luckily, I soon realized that I had chosen well and I was very happy in those years of study.
2. How would you define your work?
I try to express with the greatest economy of visual elements. The [idea of] "less is more" is something I feel and I always have in mind.
- Where do you work? Is there a particular place that inspires you?
I work at home, so the studio work coexists with domestic life.
4.What is art for you?
I am not a big friend of definitions. Art is what interests me most in life, but if I have to define it, I am left without words.
5.If you had to say something, some kind of advice to young artists, what would you say to them?
This time [in which] we are living in the world is so complex, so problematic, that I could not venture to give any advice to anyone, especially someone who has just begun. One would have to be in contact with them, meet them and know their environment. When I started, I remember that the book “Letters to a Young Poet”, by Rainer Maria Rilke, was a mind opener. Today, I wonder if that text would be significant for young people. I do not know.
- Is there a particular work of art that is special to you?
I have no memory of a particular artwork. When I started studying art history, everything interested me. It was as if I discovered a wonderful, different world. Over time, I started collecting my small population of what I call Great Loves, who accompanied me all my life. One is Morandi.
- Why do you think it’s important to have art at home?
It is important to find images that we identify with in some way. And if they accompany us every day, they come to be part of ourselves.
- How would you describe the relationship between your art and the place where you live? What in particular influences you or inspires you? Has traveling played a role in your artwork?
I suppose I could live anywhere as long as I had my own space: a quiet place where I won’t die of cold or heat, and lots of light. For me that is the foundation of happiness.
Art inspires me. Music always accompanies me when I work. The history of art, that inexhaustible source, folk art, graphic art from other eras, my books, some movies, some memorable plays. When I travel, I encounter in museums my Great Loves, and that always provoke in me the urgent desire to fly home and get back to work.
9. Why did you choose collage as your main form of expression?
The first time I illustrated a book I tried to do drawing but I did not find it comfortable. Looking for a different way of expression, the scissors made me feel that I could express myself with total freedom. It is a very agreeable technique; often the same material accidentally brings sculptural solutions.
10. Do you think that being an artist gives you a different perspective on things around you?
Over the years one develops a sensitivity that obviously is not manifested only in one’s work. I remember when I finished my degree in Fine Arts and began teaching at an art school for children, the director of the school told me that from there the children would not come out happier, but more sensitive, which I think, does not exclude happiness.
Moreover, this sensitivity is the turn of the screw that allows us to live in a more genuine way for enjoying and suffering that which touches us.