Catalina Aranguren was born in Bogotá, Colombia. At the age of 5 her parents moved and she was raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She studied K – 12th at the International School there. Her childhood was a constant wavering between languages, cultures, and third and first worlds, on a daily basis.
Catalina began her studies at the Instituto de Diseño de Caracas in Venezuela. In her early 20’s, she moved to Chicago to study photography and design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA. Before she graduated, she did a semester in Europe at the Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris, France.
Catalina Aranguren is a Latinx woman, immigrant, artist, curator, community organizer, and social justice warrior based in Jersey City, NJ for the past 20 years and actively involved in enhancing and promoting Jersey City’s vibrant arts culture. Her work is in private collections across the United States, Australia, Italy, Colombia, and Chile, among others. She is currently raising three bilingual, bicultural, biracial, and bustling boys with her husband and their giant dog.
I have always felt the need to not only create but experience creativity by others. I was raised in Venezuela at an “American” school in two almost contradictory lifestyles. I believe this truly shaped my artwork.
My work is a dialogue about the modern world and our place in it. Light is the foundation and sets the tone of the conversation. My work explores relationships between the learned and the subconscious.
Someone once asked me how they should look at my work. I responded “Look at it like you were looking at a yearbook. Get up and close, and you will recall memories of times gone by.” Some images are printed small in order to force the viewer to come very close and explore for as much detail as possible an expression, a texture; to really create in their mind with smell and sound, an idea of what the moment might have been like. Perhaps the image will even trigger something they once experienced themselves. Some pieces are printed large, forcing the viewer to step back and get a broader view to truly understand what they are looking at.
For “matriarch”, Catalina has submitted pieces strongly influenced by motherhood. Her routine, and hence her perception, was extremely modified due to the addition of three new spirits into her life. The social, emotional, and physical changes that come with motherhood are inextricably linked to her perspectives and her projects.