Raxo Logo

Elisa Insua’s Repurposed Art

Tuesday, March 26th 2024

by raxo

If you ever heard the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, it certainly fits the concept of Argentinian artist Elisa Insua. Born in Buenos Aires in 1990, Elisa started her artistic journey at the age of sixteen as a self-taught artist, “creating assemblages and sculptures with discarded materials. She gradually fused her artistic practice with concepts related to economics, overconsumption and human insatiability. In the following years, she studied sculpture with Miguel Harte and was part of group critiques with Fabiana Barreda, Diego Bianchi and Ernesto Ballesteros” – all this according to her own website. The appeal of Elisa’s art lies in the beauty of repurposing materials and transforming them into something else, something completely new and of value, at least from an artistic perspective.

There's a statement and a clear point of view behind what she does

"There's a statement and a clear point of view behind what she does"

Elisa lives and works in Buenos Aires, but her pieces have been shown in Kyoto, New York, Mexico City, Mons (Belgium), Madrid and of course, her hometown, which is not a minor task for any artist. Her treatment of discarded materials can be seen as a metaphor for ways of life that, at least until the upheavals of recent years, involved the constant practice of constant throwaway, as well as visual and informational saturation. “Economic sciences are based on a series of principles; one of them states that, for any given individual, “the more, the better.” My work tries to take this axiom to the limit of excess and abundance with the aim of straining it, questioning it and even challenging it… Visually, these works contrast with the cold aesthetics of conceptual minimalism. They try to hide a new message within the visual language of the known and the attractive, of the easily pleasant, so that we question why we like what we like and how our desires are constructed, equating the human being with a fish that sees something. bright and takes the bait or with a shell that flies towards the light unaware that it is heading towards its own destruction… Through my work I seek to shed light on how money, an abstract and invisible force, constantly and silently affects our behavior, as if it were the force of gravity”, Elisa says, regarding her pieces. There’s a statement and a clear point of view behind what she does.

Elisa works with a technique called mixed media: she reuses all types of objects and materials to create her works, which constantly vary in formats and sizes. We can find everything from a sculpture of an ice cream cone that measures two meters called The Great Temptation, covered in candy papers, jewelry and bijouterie, toy cars, party favor lips, lingerie, casino chips, banknotes from different countries, labels of clothes, etc. In any of her pieces you can see Elisa’s obsessions: her colors and shapes. “I had a time when I played a lot of Tetris, so everything I saw, I tried to fit it in a certain way and I think my work has something of that, I try to fit things and shapes together”, she adds.

As for the future and her projects, she told Ay Mag that she wants to increase scale and be smarter when it comes to producing. “I’m trying to open the playing field and do things a little more relaxed and freer”. Her path led her to the arts from an early age, so this is definitely Elisa’s calling, which makes us excited to see what she’ll come up with next: “After having worked for a year and a half in business administration, I changed my direction permanently. Although that field was interesting to me, I knew that it was not what I had come into the world to do.”