Helena Pallarés’ art sits at a crossroad between illustration and collage. “My work is somewhere in between illustration and collage and it can be both at the same time,” relayed the Spanish-born, Paris-based artist in an interview with Art Week.
Much like her chosen medium, her techniques are diverse and include digital and handmade collage work, or a mix of collage and drawing. Pallarés enjoys cutting various materials out and overlapping them, with the end result both graphic and minimal (unlike other collage artists, Pallarés’ collages aren’t excessive in nature).
“I think that my handmade works can be considered as illustrations from an esthetical point of view,” she explains. “They are close to this field because of the final result and compositions but I also like to see them as collages themselves, independent works made with a technique that is not really usually related to illustration, even though it has recently started to gain ground.”
Often time, her collage pieces add up to reveal a face. Using cuttings of papers to complete the portrait, features like eyes, nose, and mouth are added to a colorful background. Her collage portraits often feature icons in pop culture, with nods to giants like Brigitte Bardot and David Bowie.
According to Pallarés, her work is inspired by Dadaism and Surrealism (mentioning artists like René Magritte and photographer Man Ray). “I’ve always been interested in the Dadaism and Surrealism since I came across some photomontage artists when I was at the university,” she relayed. “I think these movements had a lot of influence on me, not only like an artist, but also as a way of learning how to observe and perceive art in general.”
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