Published January 10, 2022
Katarina Estrada is intrigued by the power of line and the multiplicity of it. Her work, rendered in pen and ink, proves that the agile-yet-disciplined nature of using the medium —producing inerasable lines and washes ranging from the bold to the nuanced to the expressive– hasn’t faded away.
In her love affair with line, Estrada examines the ephemera of everyday life, spirituality in philosophy, the human form and consciousness, and shadows and spaces. Her exploration of translating three-dimensional subjects onto two-dimensional surfaces yields drawings that curve outwards and sink backwards against the flat plane of the paper. She layers linework to convey volume, investigating with every stroke. While she continues to seek swelling, elongated, compressed forms, she also captures a contemporary vernacular. Estrada renders images that subtly provide equal parts social and political commentary, and these drawings aren’t just ruses but rather all-too-truthful snapshots of something broken that’s grappling for meaning and rest.
Estrada’s sharp, carved lines are effortlessly weighted and considered —the result of careful, rigorous training as much as their graphic inspiration. Her overlaid lines are simultaneously organic and intensely graphic. One can imagine her eyes honing in like microscopes so that every line and mark of her pen acts as an energetic, engaging bridge between the analytical and visual worlds.
Katarina Estrada is a Filipino visual artist from Bacolod who is currently based in Metro Manila. She works primarily in pen and ink using fine cross hatching techniques, citing Rene Magritte, Edward Hopper, Francis Bacon, and Agnes Martin as her favorite artists. She was part of “OverLab Cycle Series”, an exchange residency program for artists based from Gwangju, South Korea and Bacolod, Philippines. Estrada has participated in various exhibitions across notable galleries such as Ysobel Art Gallery, White Walls Gallery, Galerie Roberto and was included in Art Fair Philippines 2020 under Orange Project.