Kothe likens his process of collage-making to putting together a puzzle, and he aspires to create images that invite the viewer to reverse engineer his work to solve the puzzle alongside him.
As such Kothe’s practice is reflective of his training as an electrical engineer, and his current work as a product manager for a software development firm, where he is constantly called upon to solve problems, translating real-world needs into software for the nonspecialist end user. “My job,” Kothe remarks, “is to make something complex, concise before delivering into the world.”
As early as 2003, when he first experimented with analog collage techniques, we find a cathexis with stairways, an image that recurs throughout his work. The staircase provides a perfect vehicle for Kothe’s formalist concern to join lines and planes to create new energy flows, and new, if impossible ascents. Whether the source image is circular or rectangular, it provides regular, if exacting, surfaces for reconfiguration and realignment. His work invites the viewer to consider otherwise hidden, alternative pathways for the communication of parts, such as electromagnetic waves that allow us to communicate wirelessly, or create a digital image.
Since 2016, Kothe works primarily in digital media, drawing his materials from open access, artist-generated photography from Unsplash. Kothe works with very high-resolution images so that his work can be displayed in multiple formats and scales without degradation to the source images.
His earlier analog work was sourced primarily from National Geographic finds at the neighborhood, independent bookstore.
Born in the city of São Paulo, Brazil (1980), Iuri Kothe is a collage artist and photographer whose recent work in both digital and analog media deconstructs and reassembles architectural forms (especially stairways) to create the illusion of three-dimensional space through a two-dimensional, abstract form.
His work is reminiscent of the Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator, M.C. Escher’s in its graphic quality, obsessive attention to creating convincing, if impossible unions of line and plane, and in its frequently enigmatic or paradoxical perspectives. Kothe’s work reflects his professional training in electrical engineering, as his work creates new circuits and flows of energy between otherwise fragmentary and uncommunicative forms.
Kothe’s collages have been included in numerous exhibits dedicated to the art of collage around the world, with works appearing most recently in Italy, Germany, Canada and Greece.