Soldiers & Camouflage 2003-
This is an ongoing body of work, deserving its own page.
It has a starting point: an upside down newspaper image from the first days of the Iraq invasion back in 2003.
This image shows a charging soldier, possible British. Renata worked on this image -upside down- for over an year until one day, bored to death after so much de-construction, turned the image around and saw the humanity of the soldier - and also his fear. Here was a son, a father, a brother, and Renata didn't know if he was alive, injured or back home. This kickstarted the need for compiling other images from the press of ongoing global conflicts -too many. Renata then started to study the inherent painterly qualities of camouflage. The international press was the main source of inspiration, as the invasion of Iraq turned over the years into an unsolvable conflict and the militarisation of all aspects of Renata’s birth country, Venezuela, became a full-blown narco-led dictatorship.
This body of work uses a variety of media: from painting, large format charcoal drawings, soft and hard sculpture.
One day, Renata stood in front of diptych that was too big and heavy, armed with a stolen photo from a friend from the Territorial Army that served in Basra. Camouflage needed a landscape where to hide for this large format. A couple of subsequent trips back to her country Venezuela, afforded the opportunity to build on a unintentional photographic archive of urban jungle that is still in use. And slowly, soldiers gave way to monster-like plants, beautiful, dark and broody drawings, a Beauty that is just as menacing as soldiers while lying in wait.
Soldiers are always threatening to pop back in Renata's work, that is why this series is still ongoing.
Please see what comes next, TROPICO CAMUFLADO