Cecilia Bonilla is a multi disciplinary visual artist working with collage, installation, assemblage and video.
In her compositions Bonilla often appropriates mass-produced imagery from sources such as discarded books, fashion magazines and catalogues. Taking this existing imagery she subverts its original meaning through subtle alterations or amendments which reconfigure, pervert and dismantle the original image source. Throughout her work, themes of domesticity, the ideals of beauty, ‘life-style’, and other social constructs are questioned, corrupted and undermined through minimal, yet skilful assemblage and modification.
Her recent exhibitions include Contagio (2020), Cecilia Brunson Projects, London; Project Paperophylia (2020) Charlie Smith Gallery, London; Notices in a Mutable Terrain (2019), Piero Atchugarry gallery, Miami; I’ts Not Forever (2018), Galeria del Paseo, Punta; del Este, Uruguay. In 2016 she was a finalist for the National Prize for Visual Arts Montevideo, Uruguay; Bonilla has also exhibited as part of Photomonth, Krakow, (2013) at Centre for Photography, Stockholm (2010) and Nurture Art, NY (2010). Her videos have been screened at Arnolfini, Bristol (2010), at Charlie Dutton Gallery, London (2013), at EyeBeam, NY (2013), amongst others.
Bonilla first studied Fine Art as New World School of the Arts, Miami Florida (1997-99) to later complete her MFA At Chelsea College of Art and Design UK (2004-06).She currently lives and works in Margate, UK. Bonilla is represented by Galeria del Paseo, Lima, Peru – Punta del Este -Uruguay.
Myths of Nature
Pin-up images of women photographed in natural surroundings are partially obscured by images of insects, animals and trees. The super-imposed imagery simultaneously serves as a shield and as a threat to the figure, which appears both to hide from, and melt into nature. In the wake of the possibility of reaching the end of the current crisis, these works explore new conflicted relationships between humans and wildlife where beauty, fear and repulsion co-exist in a new order.
“I am regularly concerned with the physical quality of printed (mass-produced) images, how after being touched or handled (then often then discarded) these appear vulnerable to new interpretations. Consistently I seek scarcity in the amount of material used – often re-assembling only one image or collating two in a ‘simple’ way. ‘Collaging’ allows me to subvert an image’s original meaning whereby through making subtle alterations or amendments, I reconfigure, pervert and dismantle its original function.” – Cecilia Bonilla