Eric Cato

Eric Cato

Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

About Eric Cato

I am a native New Yorker, now living in Colombia, South America. I have been making photographs for 45+ years, and in the early 2000s, I decided to concentrate on my personal work. In terms of artistic influences, I have a deep affinity for early and mid-20th Century art: Expressionism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Merz and Abstract Expressionism.

The Latin term, imago ignata (unknown image), describes a composition of colors and shapes that have little correspondence to the world of external reality. These photographs are of weathered surfaces, graffiti, random paint, or faded handbills FOUND on walls, lampposts, and doors in the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Havana, Medellin, and other cities.

Throughout history, many artists have found inspiration in the street: da Vinci, Schwitters, Brassaï, Rauschenberg, and Basquiat, all come to mind. In the 1920s, Kurt Schwitters began incorporating discarded materials found in the street: newsprint, string, sackcloth, wire mesh, into a series of collages (as did Robert Rauschenberg in the 1950s and 60s). Schwitters famously asserted that the use of nontraditional materials in image making is as valid and as important as paint. To me, Schwitters’ use of found materials suggested an unexpected avenue for the exploration of the imagination.

Traditionally, abstract or imaginary imagery has been the domain of painting. However, by the process of photographing a surface or object and cropping out any reference to its physical context or size, it is my intention to abstract and transform it into an intangible realm of color, composition, mood, and mystery.


1972: Printmaking at the Parsons School of Design, NYC.
1970-1971: NYU School of Film and Television, NYC
1965: Long Island University/Southampton, New York; Professor: Val Telberg: The Image in Photography and Film.


July 2010 – Two large prints installed at the Intercontinental Hotel: Times Square at 300 West 44th St in Manhattan

2003 through 2011, I was a member of the Soho Photo Gallery, a photographers' cooperative gallery established in 1973 and operated by its members, in the Tribeca section of New York City.

2004, 2005 and 2006 – The Artists Space Benefit Exhibition and Sale: Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, NYC


• July to November 2017: A solo show of 24 images: Criaturas Concreta, in cooperation with ColomboAmericano: Medellin's Paul Bardwell Gallery of Contemporary Art, Medellín, Colombia.
• November 5, 2013 – January 31, 2014: Solo show of 20 prints at the Dann Carlton Belfort Hotel, Medellín, Colombia.
• May 30 – August 15, 2013: Group Show. I was the featured artist at Piso 11: Art at the Charlee; 11 large prints. Charlee Lifestyle Hotel, Medellín, Colombia.
• November – December 2012: Solo show of 23 large images at ABC Spanish & Art, Medellín, Colombia.c
• February-March 2008 – 31st Annual Small Works group show. 80 Washington Square East Gallery, NYC
• August 2005 – Group Show. Open Your Eyes @ Contemporary Project Space 32 (CPS) – an exhibit of digital images - New York,
• June 2005 – Group Show. Art Taste – an official exhibit of the city of Bordeaux. Bordeaux, France
• April 2005 – Solo Show. Imago: Recent Images / Soho Photo Gallery, Tribeca, New York
• February 2005 – Two-man Show with photographer Andrea Narins. At the Kanvas Lounge/Gallery in Chelsea, New York.
• November 2004 – Solo Show. Imago: Recent Images / Soho Photo Gallery, Tribeca, New York.
• February 2004 – Solo Show. Industrial Paint & Façade: Ten Images / Soho Photo Gallery, Tribeca, New York.
• July 1977 – Juried Show, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY – 3rd place (Juror: Irving Penn).