Layering Shapes – Collage Artworks by American Artist Raymond Saa

Expressing an idea with subtlety is a difficult task, and that’s putting it lightly. It’s an extremely awarding task once accomplished, though. An artist with enough experience and talent can make expression through abstractions seem easy, almost as natural as talking is to us regular folk. Today’s tale isn’t only about art, however. It’s a tale of a man with an interesting background and creativity on his mind.

His name is Raymond Saa. A collage artist of Cuban roots, who was born and raised by his mother and grandparents in the US. Being thrown into a completely different culture seems to have had an effect on Saa, as can be seen in some of his work. In his collages there is often an abundance of bright colors and floral patterns, a reminder of his heritage. This speaks to me of nostalgia for a home and the memories Raymond never had a chance to have as they were taken from him before he ever drew his first breath.

An even more interesting theme in his collage work is the balance he strikes between the tropical brightness and black and white tones which always seem to be in direct conflict in his work. A careful look at any of the finished images he masterfully created will make you awe at his brilliance. I know it had that effect on me. Every shape, every colour, every pattern has a function and a role to play. Take any of them out and the balance is disturbed.

In a 2013 statement he made, Raymond Saa said he recognises now how “he” and the “work” he makes are one and the same. There’s no political, philosophical or even theological meaning to his art. He’s just a man with a desire to express himself and everything within him. If you ask me, that makes his work even more profound.


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