Prada Colón is a young Venezuelan artist dedicated particularly to sculpture, who was born in 1976, in Maturín, Monagas state. His academic training in art began at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón in Barcelona, ​​Anzoátegui, where he graduated in Graphic Arts, in 2000, a career that he continued at the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón, Caracas, where he obtained a degree in Visual Arts, mention Sculpture, in 2008.

It is worth mentioning that Colón also carried out internships in the workshops of the graphic artist Gladys Meneses and the sculptor Pedro Barreto, experiences that were significant in expanding his knowledge as a sculptor, to which is added, by the way, having worked with another great Venezuelan sculptor, Cornelis Zitman, of whom he comments that he used to draw daily, an activity that reaffirmed in him his attraction to drawing, a discipline that he recognizes as the origin of his sculptural work, because when he was a child Prada drew what he wanted to be and do, he felt that through drawing, more than fantasizing, he could make what he wanted come true; as a child he aspired to drive spaceships, cars or any vehicle that would allow him to travel to the places he wanted to go.

For Colón, his childhood drawings were always linked to the machine, even this can be seen in almost all of his visual production developed during his 22-year artistic career, during which time he has made numerous collective exhibitions, around five individual ones and obtained several awards since 2001, having received his last award in 2017, acknowledgments that accredit the projection, the conceptual, formal, and aesthetic value of his work.

1. Prada Colon. Drawing for Birds
If Colón has had a special attraction for drawing from an early age, why did he choose sculpture as his medium of visual expression? In this regard, he has stated that he feels more comfortable working in three-dimensional space than in the two-dimensional plane. Now how do you get to sculpture through drawing? It turns out that, when he worked with Gladys Meneses in her workshop, through drawing he came to graphics, from where he began to connect with metals, with the metal plates on which the images are drawn and then printed; that is to say, he saw in the metal a certain magic that attracted him, such as visuality, textures, tones and particular temperatures, and, consequently, he considered it as raw material for the elaboration of his later sculptural projects, because before that he had worked with stone and marble, under the guidance of his teacher Pedro Barreto, with whom volume in real space began to attract his attention.
Colón realized that sculpture allowed him to establish a more practical, dynamic, and palpable relationship between time, space and the viewer. However, in his creation process, he preliminarily makes some sketches where a good mastery of drawing is observed; although more than previous studies for the realization of his sculptures, they are really conscientious drawings of a great quality, true works of art like his sculptures, procreated between his imagination and drawing, which acquires its own value as an artistic discipline, beyond being just an auxiliary of sculpture.
2. Prada Colón. PezK-1
Prada Colón also often refers to another significant event that he experienced as a child, which is somehow related to the materials and technique with which he works to build his sculptural machines; This anecdote describes the making of his first toy, a boat, which he made by assembling an oil can and a piece of wood. When remembering and referring to this playful experience, he shows that he hasn’t yet overcome the idea of ​​the toy conceived with usable material; that is to say that he creates as an adult from the roots of his childhood, using metallic industrial materials, mechanical parts (crossbows, bolts, discs, camshafts, chains), shipwrecks discarded by shipyards, oil contractors, stored in junkyards or in any other space, which, when assembled through a playful and creative procedure, under a mechanical order, strips them of their original function, granting them an aesthetic category by transfiguring them into artworks.
Between 1999 and 2005, Colón made a series of works in which his interest in experimenting with the artistic and technical possibilities of the material can be appreciated, which he cuts, roughs, welds and assembles until he achieves stylized forms prone to abstraction, revealing in some cases, aspects of its mechanism, where it plays with balance and movement, announcing his intention to induce the viewer to interact with the work.
3. Prada Colón. Swing for Ícaro
All of Colón's work is the product of his personal imagination, conditioned by the reality that surrounds him, the coastal area where he was born, grew up and currently lives, particularly the fauna of that geography and the anecdotes and stories of its fishermen, elements of those that he appropriates to later share with the other. It is after 2005 that Colón, based on this imaginary, conceives his bestiary, abstaining in this case from the use of reused material, which, as he himself says, consists of "a personal reality closely linked to natural motifs in my environment (...) symbolic interpretations of the reality that affects me, taken to sculpture in the form of reptiles, birds and fish (...).” In these works, the manipulation by the spectator is prudential.
4. Prada Colón. Plume
The works of Colón where his intention of movement and induction of the spectator as a participant, manipulator and modifier of his sculptures, proposals of kinetic mechanisms, are most effectively manifested, are his interactive structures, in front of which each subject modifies their behavior, going from being an observer contemplative, passive, to active individual, who, when integrated into the sculpture, becomes its co-author because they intervenes in it, allowing themself in this practice to live an aesthetic and playful experience close to that experienced by its creator, who he makes the spectator his accomplice, but with the freedom to make their own readings and interpretations, integrating body and mind.

Written by José Gregorio Noroño,

 Arte Original.

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