Collography Belkis Ayón

Belkis Ayón (1967-1999) was a Cuban printmaker who specialized in the technique of collography. Ayón is known for her highly detailed allegorical collographs based on the Afro-Cuban secret men-only society of Abakuá. Her work is largely monochromatic, consisting of dark silhouettes and ghost-white figures with oblong heads and empty, almond-shaped eyes. She was born in Havana, Cuba in 1967 and died in 1999 by suicide.Known as a master of collography, Ayón perfected the technique by painstakingly attaching materials of widely differing textures (e.g.vegetable peelings, bits of paper, acrylic and abrasives) to a cardboard substrate. The resulting elaborate collage was then run through a hand cranked printing press She often painted or carved the resulting prints, creating intricate patterns and embossments that added even more depth and texture and relief. An example of her exceptional detail is (Untitled, (Sikan With Goat)) for which she cut and placed hundreds of pieces paper on cardboard to represent individual scales on a figure of Sikan. Her later work was very often large, almost human in scale. To create these prints she joined as many as 18 sheets together.










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