Collage is a funny thing. Anyone can grab a pile of magazines and some scissors, or download a copy photoshop and make one. This is why there are so many people making collage, and why it’s mostly unremarkable. Naro Pinosa, born in 1979 Crevillente, Spain, is the exception. He never attended art school. He had no pretensions of being an “artist” when he grew up. His work is deceptively simple—just two images, one placed on top of the other—and it’s breathtaking.
Pinosa has a strong sensibility for the human form and a filthy sense of humor. He conjures beautiful and irreverent things from pictures of greek classical sculpture, fashion and beauty photography, and what appears to be gay porn. Pinosa loves to occasionally weave homoerotic images into religious iconography. Scroll through his instagram while drinking a cup of coffee, and you might end up with some of it on your computer screen.
Pinosa’s work is not all offensive imagery and jokes. The simplicity of his work, and the way he investigates his subject, creates a mesmerizing effect for the viewer, suspending reality and evoking a state of childlike curiosity. Personally, I could scroll through his work all day. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work.
To connect with Naro Pinosa you may find him at @naropinosa
Your art background is all independent, yes? At what point did you realize you may have a visual talent?
I’ve always paid attention to detail—color, the combination of clothing and accessories … I guess it just comes naturally.
And when did you make your first collage. What was it?
I started making collages a couple years ago. It was just a distraction, a way to kill time, like a cross word puzze or sudoku. I never really thought about it beyond that.
You use a lot of funny homoerotic imagery, injecting it into nonsexual places. What’s that about?
It’s a combination things. The images or concepts are from disparate universes, but they are similar. The conventional is boring. And sex is fascinating.
Are you poking fun specific ideas or establishments with your work? Like when you add really gay images to religious scenes?
Religious “imagenería” also has sex. Religion is probably the biggest lie and hypocrisy of all time. God, Allah, Muhammad … enough lies. Ourselves. The best religion is sexual.
Some collage work is so complicated, but yours is deceptively simple. Usually only 2 images, one on top of another. How did you arrive at this execution?
It is so easy to complicate things, and it takes the slightest bit of effort to complicate life, or an image. I keep this simple. It’s a hobby.
You are not an artist by trade. You are a nurse. At what point did your creative life eclipse this career? Do you miss being a nurse?
I don’t make art. I wish I could! My work is probably just a fad. There are people out with with incredible talent and so many things to say that we haven’t heard yet.
Who really inspires you?
I am inspired by the sea. My friends. My family. Dreams.
What is your creative process like?
It’s very easy. I take an image I like. And I play with it. It’s just a game.
What is your overall goal as an artist?
That the public will evade every image. I do not seek notoriety.
Do you have a dream project?
I’d love to devote my time to designing clothes, but I need a great budget for that!
As you gain a much larger audience, do you feel you have some pressure to create a specific narrative?
I’m just expressing myself … The number of followers is just a number. It means nothing.