ARTIST FEATURE - OTTO IRAM
Untitled collage by Otto Iram
OTTO IRAM, THE ABSTRACT ARTIST BEHIND OUR BRIC-À-BRAC PUZZLE FOCUSES ON COLOUR AND COMPOSITION TO CREATE PLAYFUL COLLAGES AND PAINTINGS
Otto Iram is a self-taught visual artist based in Toulouse, France. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Auguste Herbin, Ikko Tanaka and Carmen Herrera, he creates abstract work with a strong graphic sensibility.
Using a combination of painting and collage, Otto Iram’s playful work is created in a spontaneous manner. From making his own palette of papers that he paints with bright, bold colours, to loosely cutting geometric forms, nothing is pre-planned. Each piece unfolds as these shapes and colours are created, arranged and rearranged one on top of another until a harmonious composition emerges. This layering technique creates a wonderful depth to his work with faint shadows highlighting each form.
The collage used for our new puzzle (shown below), titled Bric-à-brac captures Otto Iram’s ability to create a complex composition that is as refined as it is playful. All with a sense of ease and light-heartedness that is characteristic of his work.
Our Bric-à-brac puzzle, featuring Otto Iram's collage of the same name is available here.
We recently chatted with Otto Iram about his process, inspiration and upcoming collaborations.
What most interested you in collaborating with Four Point Puzzles to turn your artwork into a puzzle?
What interested me in collaborating with Four Point Puzzles is first that they have already worked with artists and I found the result very pleasant. In addition, the construction and the playfulness of the puzzles remind me of what I do for my collages, it's a bit the same process. There is also the satisfaction when you're finished. Finally, the puzzles are sometimes now framed and then hung on the wall like works of art with the feeling of having participated, and I find it very interesting.
You mentioned that you are a self-taught artist. When did you begin working in the visual arts and what first drew to it?
From a very young age, I have been passionate about drawing. I drew a lot, mostly characters but also lettering like graffiti. I gave up drawing during adolescence and devoted my time to skateboarding. It was during the first confinement in March 2020 that I found free time to get back to drawing and painting.
Your colour palettes are always incredible. Do you find outward inspiration for your colour choices, or is it more intuitive?
The choice of colors is quite intuitive indeed, but I am necessarily inspired by what I see outside. I know what I like and what I don't. I think color is the most important thing, before shapes and compositions.
You listed Auguste Herbin, Ikko Tanaka and Carmen Herrera as some artists that inspire you. What in particular draws you to their work?
What I find inspiring about these artists is clearly their use of color, shapes and compositions. I didn't know Auguste Herbin before I started painting and I've often been told that I make people think of him.
Untitled painting by Otto Iram
You said that the arrangement of components in your collages is a very fluid process. How do you know when a piece feels complete and doesn’t need more rearranging?
It is a matter of feeling, I know if it's over if there is more to add. Often I take a photo and then I see if I have to remove or add elements. As I work flat, the photo allows me to take a step back.
Your work all seems to be at a somewhat small scale (I assume due to the nature of the materials you work with), but have you ever considered working on larger scale pieces like murals or sculptures?
It is true that I don't work on large formats. It's a bit due to the fact that I work at home and not in a studio. I plan to work on bigger work and also murals. I think I will get to it very soon.
Do you have any exhibitions or collaborations coming up that we can share with our readers?
I don't have any exhibitions planned soon. I have an upcoming collaboration with "The Papergang" that makes stationery boxes.
Untitled collage by Otto Iram
To view more of Otto Iram's work, you can follow him on Instagram here.