Fulbright Senior Award to Spain 2022

Purchase instructions: email info@fulbright.org with artist name & details of art piece

Artist Statement

About the work and artist: This collage/mixed media art piece was created by using recycled materials. While on a Fulbright Senior Award at University of Málaga in Spain, I noticed how seriously malagueños took recycling. There are color-coded bins: Blue for paper and cardboard; green for glass bottles and jars; yellow for plastic bottles, jars and bags, tin and aluminum cans, and food and beverage cartons. Besides, people can dispose of furniture, appliances on specific areas, to be taken away on Mondays. For several weeks I went “dumpster-diving” and found wooden pieces, among them a 6-feet tall by 36.5 inches wide hardboard. I collected food, beverages and clothing labels, wrappers, milk and juice cartons, paper bags, catalogues, magazine, newspapers, leaflets, and circulars, and organized them by colors: blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey.

My goal was to recreate a Mondrian-like composition by using those elements. I separated the cellophane from the bread paper bags, flattened, and glued them to the hardboard, using leftover white paint to create a canvas. Then I designed my composition on the computer at the same scale as the hardboard, and drew the composition directly on the hardboard. I glued each disposable element that I had collected in a 90-degree angle, according to its color, observing the right balance and visual weight. This became an ongoing process as I continued collecting more elements.

Finally, I applied gouache, as a color wash, to unify each colored polygon, followed by varnish to add sheen and protection.

Elio Leturia is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication of Columbia College Chicago where he teaches multimedia journalism and graphic design. He has worked for the Detroit Free Press, ¡Exito! /Chicago Tribune and El Comercio in Lima, Peru. His design work has been recognized by The Society for News Design, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Associated Church Press. He’s given presentations in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In 2017 he was presented with the Lisagor Award in the Best Short Film Documentary category for his bilingual film “Tita Turns 100”. As a bilingual writer and blogger, his articles have appeared in publications in the U.S. and abroad. A Fulbright scholar in the U.S. and Spain, he is a board member of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, where he maintains its blog. Leturia is also an actor with Aguijón Theater in Chicago.


Málaga Mondrian
Málaga, Spain
May 2022
Collage/mixed media
72 x 36.5 inches.