On July 6, Miler Lagos was busy turning newspapers back into a tree. The Great Tree is the Colombian artist’s commissioned piece for Unsettled Landscapes. His materials totaled three tons of newspapers (produced with soy ink on recycled newsprint), printed and donated by The Santa Fe New Mexican, along with copies of The New York Times, the Santa Fe Reporter, and The Demon Tattler, Santa Fe High’s school newspaper.
Lagos earned his B.A. in fine arts at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogatá. For his solo shows over the past several years in New York City, Toronto, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Valparaíso, he has employed mostly natural materials (including weeds) as well as candies, newspapers, and books. As for using newspapers for his Unsettled Landscapes work, he told Pasatiempo, “Each ring of a tree is like a file of the time and place in the same way that each page of newspaper is a file of the area and the time. This is the reason I want to use newspaper. It’s the connection between print media and sculpture. It’s easy to think this is about ecology, but, no, it’s through my activity as a sculptor — and I was looking for the nature of materials until I found newspaper, and it made me think of print media and how many papers have been used to keep alive images from history, like Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypse woodcut series, which is still printed in books of art.”
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