Adriana Espinosa Calle

Adriana Espinosa Calle

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Art Statement

Explored in different ways, the foundation of my work is memory and identity. 

In the mixed-media drawings there is a combination of identity documents, certificates, authenticity attests, mail seals, pre-Columbian symbols and portraiture.

Protagonists, spaces, facts and events (these being personal or historical events) create unique conditions to build our singularity, and nonetheless we have to certify constantly who we are, what we do or own. For this reason, I am interested in the traces, particularly those that people in American continents have left to perpetuate their existence, from petroglyphs to bar codes.

Ultimately, I would like my drawings to inspire reflection on the importance of the deep meaning of identity versus legality.


Born in Bogotá D.C, Colombia, 1953. Works in Bogotá and resides in Chia, suburb of the capital. Graduated in Visual Arts from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. In 1987 the Colombian Institute for Education Abroad, (ICETEX) grants her a scholarship for two years, to study metal engraving in the National Chalcography of Rome. In 1988 she won the silver plate in Giorgio Mondadori’s Prize-Art and made her first solo exhibition at Ferro di Cavallo Gallery in Rome.

From 1990 she started to make a series of drawings inspired in identity documents.

I find a special beauty on ID documents.  Every single element on them is important when I make an image. I like to draw them rearranging the element’s order, subtly modifying sizes of the signatures, seals, fingerprints and texts, making them appear as legitimate as possible with different techniques. Diverse symbols and signs shaped by time, interact with the document’s elements giving testimony of the individuals that once were represented by them.

Metal Engraving


Between 1984 and 1987 she produced 30 metal engravings to illustrate the biography of three important scientist that worked in Nueva Granada (Colombia) in 1800. The book Mutis, Caldas, Codazzi, Forgers of Culture, was written by Hermann A. Schumacher, (1839-1890). Some of the landscapes were presented with a clear reference to the past, showing the same places visited by the Corographic Commission -1850 (a scientific project commissioned to Agustin Codazzi, by The Republic of Nueva Granada, where the main purpose was to establish the national borders, as well as the provinces of the national territory), but as we see them today.

Part of these aquatints have been exhibited at internacional fine arts events such as: VII Biennial of Graphic Arts in Puerto Rico (1986), Vincitori Premio Arte 88, G. Mondadori, Finarte Milán-Roma (1988), I International Exhibition from Latinamerican Asociation of Graphic Artist, AAGL, Bogotá, 2009, I- II-III and IV International Exhibitions of the Xalubinia Workshop, in Menorca (2007, 2008, 2009), New York (2010)

 Series “Desaparecidos” 

As a personal project, from 2001 to 2011, she associated with three NGO to recover photographic files, drawing portraits from victims of Colombia’s conflict.

Solo Exhibition, Retratos de Desaparecidos, Biblioteca Virgilio Barco, Bogotá DC, 2003

Solo Exhibition, Retratos de Desaparecidos, Convenio Andrés Bello, Bogotá    DC, 2002

From 2012 till 2016 she has been developing the Project Habitar la Historia, (Dwell the History) a performance -installation. The engravings, portraits and drawings were taken to the places frequented by Francisco José de Caldas, an important Colombian intellectual who was executed during the Spanish Reconquista. The pictures worked as reminders of historical events in the same locations where they took place, while encouraging conversation with the passersby.




Interview with Ursa Schoepper

Interview with Ursa Schoepper

De Domo Diaboli presented by Stephen Romano Gallery

De Domo Diaboli presented by Stephen Romano Gallery