VOLUME 4 COLLAGE~FALL/WINTER 2013
â€œArrange whatever pieces come your way.â€? ~virginia woolf
edit and design Cat Gilbert lead editors and interviewers Elizabeth Perry Eva Richter interviewers Kiernan Donnan Mirela Sucur cover images (Front and Back) Troy Dugas, St. Jeromeâ€™s Castle, 2013, Liquor labels on wood panel//Photo Mike Smith (Interior Page Front, Page 168) Billy Sprague, Mothers Invitation, 2013, Collage & Mold (Page 3) Thomas Spieler, The Olympics, 2013, Collage on paper (Interior Page Back) Tim Manthey, Licorice Icarus, 2012, Handcut paper collage (Back) Eduard Beezembir, Tyrant, 2013, paper-collage
VOLUME 4, COLLAGE, FALL/WINTER 2013
1)AARON BEEBE (pg 31) is a self-taught artist and design school dropout. He divides his time between collaging, screen-
printing, and graphic design. Beebe grew up in Virginia Beach, where he was greatly influenced by surf and skate culture. His style stems from a collection of various visual artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Carson, and more recently, Fred Free, Zach Collins, and Brandon McLean. Aaron Beebe’s cut and paste collages mainly consist of ephemera found through his daily travels.
2)Alexandra Bellissimo (pg 28) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. In 2011, she received her BFA in photography from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Her body of work strongly revolves around the theory of “making” images instead of simply taking pictures. She applies traditional collaging techniques to each piece by physically cutting, layering, and adhering prints together.
3)ANDREA BURGAY (pg 34) combines many media in her collage, sculpture and installation work. Originally from Syra-
cuse, NY, she studied at Purchase College, SUNY, and the School of Visual Arts in NY. She has shown her work in venues both nationally, and internationally including Unimedia Modern Contemporary Art in Genoa, Italy, Galerie Zurcher, Paris, France, the BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, and recently on a billboard in New Orleans, LA, as part of the public art project Expose: New Orleans. Currently based in Brooklyn, Burgay is a teaching artist in NYC public schools through the “Studio In A School” program.
4)ARIANE JURQUET (pg 44) is the assistant Curator of the Museum of Bastia (Corsica, France). Besides her own
collage work, she also participates in projects including “Playing with a Full Deck” initiated by Liz Cohn. In her collages she investigates notions of pastiche, forgery and surrealist constructions. You can see her work at: Deviant Art ( www. arianejurquet.deviantart.com), Flickr ( www.flickr.com/photos/nausicaa1965/ ), or Tumblr (www.arianejurquet.tumblr. com/ ).
5)BEN GILES (pg 17) is from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England and is second year art student at Kingston College in London.
6)Bill ZINDEL (PG 76) is an independent artist, illustrator, and designer who lives near Oakland, California. Working from his cluttered home studio, Bill creates collages that are structured yet unrestrained, employing bold colors and patterns, with geometric leanings and spontaneous tendencies. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Bill has shown his work in San Francisco, New York, Detroit, Nashville, Omaha, Ireland, and Berlin.
7)Billy Sprague (INTERIOR PAGE FRONT, PG 168) is an Oakland California based artist and musician. His work often de-
picts nature’s growth and decay with it’s natural mutation of form for optimum function. This synapsis of organism and environment along with dreamlike futuristic scenarios fuel the imagery in much of his work. Sprague has exhibited solo shows in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Berlin as well as group shows worldwide. For more information please see: www.billysprague.com
8)BRANDON MCLEAN (pg 50) is an Orlando based mixed media artist who creates multi-layered paintings, collages and
installation works rooted heavily in the realms of nostalgia. Much of the work uses appropriated imagery, text, logos, and stories from both popular culture as well as more personal, auto-biographical sources.
9)BRUCE NEW (pg 117) creates work that is an attempt to document his existence—to leave a visual record of his thoughts, ideas, and fantasies. He resides in the wilds of Kentucky with a bird and his son, on a mountaintop, right next to the sun, where he creates his artwork high on butterfly wine.
10)CHARLES WILKIN (pg 80) was born in Buffalo, New York. Wilkins has been a working collage and mixed media artist
for over 15 years. His work has been featured in numerous contemporary art and design magazines, including: Metropolis, Rojo, Juxtapoz, and Emigre. He has exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, and Byron Bay, Australia in both groups and solo shows. Several of his pieces are currently in the permanent collections at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Hamburg, Germany and in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Charles has also lectured extensively across the country about his work and keeps bees in his spare time. He currently splits his time between his studios in The Catskills and Brooklyn, New York
11)CRAIG VAN DEN BOSCH (pg 68) addresses evolutionary dynamics of the intermingling between biology and technology. His work poses the question of whether harmony between the two is attainable. Technology can challenge how humanity interprets and interacts with reality. Will technology offer a new utopian paradigm? Will technology unshackle social Sisyphean behaviorism? Will humanity transcend the limits of body, mind and spirit? Portraying fictional worlds where futurist concepts explore visual manipulation of body and environment, many questions and stories arise within the work. You can see more of his work at www.vandenboschstudios.com.
12)DAVID A. MOoDY (pg 114) writes out of Tallahassee where he pursues a PhD in poetics at Flordia State University.
Former poetry editor for SawPalm and Juked, David is production editor of Cortland Review and Southeast Review. His work has appeared or is forththcoming in Sweet, Eleven Eleven, Saw Palm, and Spillway.
13)DELILAH LOVE JONES (pg 125) is a Brooklyn based mixed media collage artist, bicycle lover, and sandwich enthusiast reaching her scissor hands as far into the future of surreal tangible realities as the worlds faith and understanding can sustain her realness and a roof.
14)Doug Stapleton (pg 121) is an artist, curator and educator. He is an Assistant Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and an adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012.
15)EDDIE YUEN (pg 158) is a Hong Kong based collage artist, illustrator and designer, best known for his collage of Esquire’s special issue cover. His work is a kind of symbolic language that about relationship between Dualism and Absurdism in a simple way. You can see his work at: www.eddieyuen.weebly.com.
16)EDUARD BEZEMBINDER (pg 139) studied at the art school of St. Joost in Breda, Minerva in Groningen and also at Media-
GN (the current FMI). Since then he has received several stipends, exhibited in his homeland and abroad, and painted a considerable amount of murals. Besides his painting and drawing he is also a curator, a graphic designer, and art-blogger. His work is represented in many collections in Europe.
17)Flore Kunst (pg 22) lives and works in Lyon, France. A graduate of the Ecole Emile Cohl in 1999, she has worked in
various areas including vector illustration, textile design, photography, design, and linocut. This diversity of experience has enabled her to acquire a unique graphic look. In 2010, she adopted the technique of collage after being captivated by the works of John Baldessari. She also admires the paintings of Neo Rauch. She cultivates a passion for images for many years, finding old magazines, postcards, and other papers. Her findings then become the main medium of his artistic approach. You can see her work at: www.florekunst.tumblr.com.
18)FRED FREE (pg 45) was born in Levittown New Jersey and is based in Boston. He received degrees from RISD,
designed buildings, illustrated for TV shows, created fine art for a monk, software publisher and movie 7 actor. He has exhiwbited in galleries, alleys, and a suburban mall. He has had his traditional work showcased in the “Cut and Paste” issue of IdN Magazine, was included in the 2011 book on contemporary collage, Cutting Edges, and in 2012 was chosen for the feature article and covers of the inaugural issue of Kolaj Magazine.
19)HERNAN PAGANINI (pg 85) is a Graphic Designer at the University of Buenos Aires where he taught as a professor in Morphology (Chair Enrique Longinotti) from 2003 to 2010. He was selected to attend the Artists Program at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, 2010 edition by Paul Siquier. He also developed a personal workshop for two years called “Boat
Trip for Virgin Space” as well as different types of workshops under the name “Project Skin Kindergartens” applied in various museums and schools. Earlier this year he opened a workshop located in the Galeria Patio del Liceo. His personal work can be seen in several galleries in Buenos Aires, such as Slyzmud and Chimera. Simultaneously working as Art Director and Designer for various media and companies, he has been published in Catalogue, Barzón, DMAG, Remix, Ohlala, Ruby Book, Harper’s Bazaar, La Nacion, Living, Sophia as well as several art and design publications abroad.
20)HOWIE GOOD (pg 22 and 89) is a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz and the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011), as well as numerous print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently Inspired Remnants from Red Ceilings Press and The Penalty for Trying from Ten Pages Press.
21)JOHANNA GOODMAN (pg 126) is an artist and illustrator living and working in Nyack, New York. She went to Boston University School for the Arts and then to Parsons School of Design in New York, where she earned her BFA in Illustration in 1992. Her work has been exhibited widely and she has painted portraits of world leaders for the cover of Time, rock stars for Rolling Stone, and CEOs for the Wall Street Journal. Her work has been recognized by numerous design organizations including American Illustration, Communication Arts and The Society of Publication Design.
22)JORDAN CLARK (pg 130) is an artist for CES Contemporary in Laguna Beach, CA. He has been involved with several
group exhibitions including Scope New York Contemporary Art Fair this past March. He has also shown at the ArtPad San Francisco Contemporary Art Fair. He is the creator of the book The Map and the Territory which was recognized as one of the top book covers of 2012 by the New York Times. He is also featured in the new Collage Book by Gestalten.
23) Julie gard (pg 45, 68, 99) is a prose poet whose work is frequently inspired by found objects and visual artwork. She has published two chapbooks, Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger’s Eye Press) and Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press), along with poetry and short fiction in The Prose Poem Project, Gertrude, Ekphrasis, Clackamas Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals and anthologies. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota and is a writing professor at the University of Wisconsin Superior. Her work can be seen at: www.juliegard.com.
24)Justin Angelos (pg 96) was born in 1971 in Los Angeles, CA. After spending many years on the road with a job in
the tradeshow industry Justin now lives in Burlingame, CA where he is a fulltime stay at home dad and artist. Life, death, loss, and rebirth play a major role in the forming of many of his ideas. Inspired by the current state of our world and the debris man leaves in his wake Justin’s palette is often made up of found and discarded objects collected in abandoned houses, vacant lots, roadsides, and second hand stores. Primitive culture, the animal world, and today’s fast paced and disposable society continue to add fuel to his work.
25)KANITTA MEECHUBOT (pg 55) is an illustrator and model maker, currently based in London. A Central Saint Martins
graduate, Kanitta produces intricate, handcrafted illustrations for international clients as well as exhibiting her work in galleries worldwide. She enjoys experimenting with collage, paper cutting, and dry flowers to bring her childhood memory comes to life.
26)kareem rizk (pg 64) was born in 1982 in Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia. He is a collage and mixed media artist,
illustrator, and designer. He currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Graduate of Monash University with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (2004), he has previously worked as a Graphic Designer at Melbourne’s #1 selling newspaper, The Herald Sun (2005-2006). Since his shift of focus to fine art and illustration in 2006 and his pursuit of developing his style, Rizk has been cutting and pasting his way towards a unique and contemporary style of collage and mixed media art that has earned him international recognition, as well as continuous success working with numerous galleries, fine art publishers, and creative companies all around the world. Exhibitions include solo shows and group shows across Australia, USA, Canada, UK and Europe. Rizk’s work has been published in numerous art magazines and books and his work is held in private collections worldwide.
27)launa D. Romoff (pg 138) finds her material everywhere. By working in this medium, she believes you learn to “see” the beauty of the discarded and turn it into “art.” Her images have two different manifestations. Some are internal, elusive, and suggestive. Others are external, dynamic, and engaged. They reflect her reality, which encompasses both.
28)Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia (pg 159) is informed by multiple sources ranging from personal anecdotes to art-historical, theological, and ethnographic motifs. Born in Cd. Júarez, Chihuahua, México, he graduated with a BA from UCLA in 2003 and an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2007. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and teaches Illustration at Otis College of Art and Design. His work is in public and private collections including The Hammer Museum’s and was featured in PINTA New York in November. His third solo show at CB1 Gallery opened this past December.
29)mario naves (pg 60) teaches at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College and Hofstra University. He has been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The E.D. Foundation, The Sugarman Foundation and The PollockKrasner Foundation. Naves is represented by the Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Chelsea and his work has been covered by The New York Times, Art in America, The New Criterion, The New York Sun, The Village Voice, ArtCritical.Com, ArtNet and other publications. Naves’ criticism has been published in The New York Observer, Slate, The New Criterion, New Art Examiner, The Wall Street Journal, and City Arts. He lives and works in New York City.
30)matthew cusick (pg 102) was born in New York City, and received his BFA from The Cooper Union in 1993 and
his MFA from Southern Methodist University. His work has been shown in galleries and institutions across the United States and Europe including solo exhibitions at the Columbus Museum of Art, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, Kent Fine Art, and Andrew Kreps Gallery. Matthew was the recipient of a NYFA Painting Fellowship in 2006 and a Bemis Center for Contemporary Art Residency Fellowship in 2008. In 2013 he was invited for a five week residency at the Lux Art Institute where a survey exhibition from the last ten years of his work was being held. He has been a visiting artist and lecturer at The Cooper Union, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and The Dallas Museum of Art and his work is held in numerous public and private collections around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the International Collage Center, and the Progressive Corporation Art Collection. Since 2007, Matthew, his wife, and their daughter, have been living in North Texas.
31)MAYUKO FUJINO (pg 152) is a self taught paper cutout and collage artist from Japan who currently lives in Queens, NY. She has been working on her art since 1999. Her first artistic influence was Japanese traditional stencil dyeing. After years of experimentation, she found her current style of papercut mixed with collage. You can see more work at www.mayukofujino.com.
32)muriel mann (pg 55) is a writer and artist who lives in various locales throughout the world, including trees, rivers, and the occasional celestial residence.
33)nicholas lockyer (pg 39) is based in London. He finished his degree in Fine Art at the London Metropolitan in
2008. His technique is adapted from working in a large studio where he could use expressive marks and robust sculptural techniques to a change pace in a much smaller studio space. By harnessing that energy and large-scale attitude to work his practice translated seamlessly into the medium of collage he works in currently. The work, to a degree, is a reaction to the saturation point of digitalization in today’s society and how images are easily appropriated in the internet age. It’s also a tribute to all trash and lowbrow ephemera that exists outside the digital world and especially Trash Cinema and cult underground films, including Jodorowskys “El Topo’” and “Holy Mountain.”
34)RAINTREE CHIM (pg 163) is inspired by Frankenstein, Jonathan Franzen, and Tadanori Yoko. He has shown in various locations in Taipei and is the Graphic Direction of Taiyuan Arts Foundation and Puppetry Theatre.
35)RAFAEL DUARTE (pg 101) expresses his interpretation of the contemporary world through art. His work, translated
by the collage technique, is an enigmatic and interpretative experience through the mixture of symbols, figures, mediation, and aesthetics to create a new spontaneous conception. The subjectiveness of his images is a search through various cultural movements such as Surrealism, Constructivism, and Dadaism, contemplating the contemporary world as it surrounds modern society’s everyday life. Dislocation, fragmentation, and juxtaposition of images are a few possibilities presented by Rafael Duarte (aka KINJIN) which forces the spectators to create a new way of thinking and a fundamental manifestation of nowadays reality.
36)ROBERT HARDGRAVE (pg 146) was born in Oxnard, CA, raised in southern AZ, and has been a Seattle resident for the past 20 years. Improvisation is his strength and he enjoys employing “mixed” media whenever he can. Robert has been published in numerous artist survey books and magazines in addition to a monograph of his own work called Magic Beans.
37)SCOTT DICKSON (pg 24) was born in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from the University of Kansas in 2007 with a BFA and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2009 with a MFA. He has exhibited in Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, and Omaha and has had work published both online and in print, most recently in Age of Collage, Contemporary Collage in Modern Art, a publication by Berlin based Gestalten. His work explores a personal search for transcendence in the natural world. In 2013 his pursuits prompted him to embark on a hike of the 2,200 mile, 14 state, Appalachian Trail. He currently lives and works in Kansas City.
38)ST.FRANCIS ELEVATOR RIDE (pg 12) is a former soft drink corporation artist-turned-surrealist pop collage sociopath.
He creates personal and freelance projects, as well as collaborative work in the areas of fine art, design and commercial communication. The artist’s work often oscillates between digital and analog methods, expressed through an array of mediums, including collage, print and web media. The body of his work is highly informed by simple and minimal design aesthetics, timeless vintage imagery and twentieth century romantic ideals. He received his BFA in 2007 from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is the art director for local Memphis garage-psych-pop record label, Trashy Creatures Records, and former co-curator of now closed popular art and design blog, “The Electric Beef.”
39)THOMAS SPIELER (pg 135) was born in Germany in 1989 and currently studies Philosophy at the University of Munich. He has shown in Germany and Spain at Aaber Award, Heitsch Gallery, elicit, Cutting Edge, and Barcelona Showcase
40)TIM MANTHEY (INTERIOR BACK PAGE) is a Seattle native who has been crafting strange visual art since childhood. After
years of drawing, writing, and producing weird, lo-fi videos for public access TV, he picked up a pair of scissors and a stack of old magazines, after being struck with the urge to craft hanmade collages. This is where “Cloud Nectar” was born; a series of whimsically disturbing dream narratives wrapped in vintage motifs. Like album art from another dimension, Tim creates unsettling yet cohesive collages that draw the viewer deep into the outlandish. Tim’s artwork has been published in The Stranger, National Geographic’s Photo Society, Modern Vintage Illustration (Anova Books, 2012), and has recently made album art for musician Daniel Blue’s first solo release. Since 2009, Tim has continued to create these works on a weekly basis, showing at galleries and venues around Seattle.
41)TIMOTHY SHEPARD (pg 142) is primarily a visual artist working with collage in one form or another, but music has also
been a regular outlet as well. He had an indie band in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He toured around the UK and Europe with a bank of super 8 projectors and various film collage loops he was making at the time. When the band broke up he bought a sampler and “The Turnbury Recordings,” all come from that time. Not long ago he produced the last album of the english maverick Kevin Ayers—called “The Unfairground.” The Turnbury recordings were made during the spring and summer of 1993—they are music collages combining sampled music fragments from old glass audio discs that came out of a house called Turnberry in Narragansett Rhode Island USA, (the spelling mistake stuck) and also from long forgotten 20p records found in junk stores along the Golbourne Rd in London.
42)TRAVIS MEDFORD (pg 65) creates work that is collection of responses to a popular culture and the language it uses to
identify itself. Contrasting imagery and the process of taking something out of its intended context plays a major role in the way he thinks about making art. The medium he chooses depends upon the specific needs of each piece as it applies to the original concept or idea. He sees the art object as a “third other,” that is, the sum becomes greater than its parts.
43)TROY DUGAS (pg 90) collects unused product labels. This material is cut or shredded to produce artwork that appears
woven. Repetition, pattern, symmetry, precision, and scale are used to distract from the label’s original purpose. The essential elements of color, shape, and line are utilized in a new way, and the altered context of the source material provides new meaning. The immediacy of the graphic label is transformed into aesthetic sensation and contemplation. He imagines the work as relics or artifacts left behind by some indigenous people or other world void of artistic ego. The works are filled with meaning and purpose all on their own, and possess an undeniable spirituality. Void of any specific religion, the work reflects the spirit of a scavenger creating his own myths.
44)ZACH COLLINS (pg 110) was born in Grinnell, Iowa. He is a collage and mixed media artist, designer, and illustrator. He received his BA in Graphic Design from Upper Iowa University and his MA from the University of Iowa. He is currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is pursuing an MFA degree at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Upon arriving at MCAD in August 2011 Zach’s main focus switched from digital to analog collage. He then started
sharing his work online which has lead to doing collaborations between several collage artists around the world. He has exhibited his work internationally and as his artwork continues to develop he looks forward to future shows,collaborations, and projects.
NOTES ON WRITING EXERCISES: We asked writers for Volume 4 to participate in a collage writing exercise. Below are the guidelines for each exercise.
Review the collage portfolio. Pick a work to write a short piece based on. This is not a critique of the work (unless you want it to be) but instead a written piece inspired by the work
Write a piece with only the words found in collages featured inVolume 4. A list is provided.
ELEVATOR RIDE 22: Where did you grow up, and what were some of your important art experiences? Josh Breeden: I have been creating in some way for as long as I can remember—whether it be coloring in coloring books to doodling on sermon notes during church services. I once won a poster contest when I was 9 to promote safety around electricity. I had broken my right arm a couple weeks prior, so I had to draw the whole thing with my left hand. I see that as a metaphor for what I had to overcome artistically, given my cultural background. I grew up in a place in the center of the Bible Belt where I should have been an accountant or a bean farmer but somehow became a visual artist. While in high school, I took a brief hiatus from being creative because my school’s art teacher was very discouraging when I mentioned pursuing the arts as career. He didn’t really care or believe in many of his students, and it seemed like he was just there to collect a paycheck. It wasn’t until my senior year that I renewed my interest. I went to a college art day and was encouraged to pursue an academic path in this ﬁeld.
more freedom in collage-making when I’m working digitally. I’m able to scale images and saturate colors much more freely than if I were creating a piece solely by hand. Some of my source images would not work effectively compositionally if they were just cut and pasted without the use of digital touchups. Analog techniques such as cutting, gluing, and painting make the work much more precious. 22: What are some of your favorite digital and non-digital collage methods? JB: I’ve often implemented printmaking into my collage work, and in the past several years I’ve designed for screen printing both in my studio and for another shop. I’ve done
22: Was collage a medium that spoke to you from the beginning? JB: I didn’t really get into “collage” until I took a couple of Mixed Media courses in college. I was going to school for my BFA in design, but I had a number of studio classes in other concentrations that were required as well. Mixed Media was the one I seemed to excel in more than the others. I was decent at drawing, but I knew my skills weren’t really going do much to change the face of the medium or create something that hasn’t been done before. 22: You talk about oscillating between digital and analog methods. What do you ﬁnd intriguing or important about using digital elements in your work? JB: Being trained professionally as a graphic designer, but also having had a lot of studio classes, it seemed natural to me to combine physical and digital mediums. There is a lot
a couple of shows where I’ve layered physical collage with digitally rendered illustrations created in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as part of an embellishment of the piece. There are digital processes for illustration, color separations, and printing the ﬁlm. There are manual processes practiced when cutting, pasting, and executing other physical materials, along with the screen preparation and ﬁlm processing.
really hit my stride after I later moved to Memphis because it is a city absolutely teeming with musicians and bands. I began designing for Trashy Creatures and Ardent after I establishing myself with the ERF collective. My aesthetic seemed to mesh well with Trashy Creatures’ ﬂagship band, Tiger High. Their sound and my imagery paint the perfect surreal-psychedelic pop experience. 22: What soft drink corporation did you work for?
22: What about the Memphis/Nashville art world appeals to you? JB: I guess the real appeal is that it’s a small but growing art scene, especially in Memphis. Just in the past couple of years, there has been an increasing drive in the city to revitalize a lot of areas. The emergence of more galleries and pop-up spaces helps to bring in more artists, designers, makers, and creative thinkers who, in turn, introduce more art and culture. 22: Much of your work is for Trashy Creatures and Ardent Records. What appeals to you about designing for music? JB: I’ve always been a great appreciator of music. I have vivid childhood memories of making my Dad blast Fleetwood Mac and Steve Miller Band in his old pickup when they came on the local radio station. I got more serious about my love for music as a collector in high school. Though I never really had the passion or aptitude for playing myself, I loved collecting the packaging, reading the liner notes, and smelling coated paper. I loved the thrill of my favorite bands putting out new records and going to my local record store to pick them up on the release day. The thought of designing for music didn’t become a real concept to me until I was college and suddenly being asked to make show posters and handbills for friends’ bands. I
JB: The most corrupt and fascist one! When I graduated college in 2007, I moved to Memphis to work as Production Artist for Coca-Cola. I ran a one man, in-house print shop. I designed, produced, and shipped out POS (Point of Sale) advertisements, displays, and various other signage to Coca-Cola Sales centers in the Southeast region of the United States. It was the most disorganized, unfocused environment I’ve ever worked in. I often think things would’ve been much different had I worked for Pepsi. 22: Who are some of the artists you admire? JB: My friend, Joseph Kendrick, is constantly challenging everyone’s moral outlook (and blurring the lines between sexuality and humor) through his collage and found object sculpture work. Nikkila Carroll’s Babycreep creates a lot of unique handmade jewelry and ﬁne art out of disturbing baby limbs and other various creatures. I think there’s something quite brilliant in being able to take things that are inherently creepy or frightening and make them into wholly new things that are very attractive and pleasing to the eye. It’s a practice I’ve been trying to master myself for some time now, and she seems to do it effortlessly. Also, Ronnie Lewis is a hugely talented typographer and designer whose attention to detail will make a type treatment for a Juice truck as ﬂawless as a Sanborn Map.
PAGE 12: Viscera in Revolt, July 2013, Digital Collage Illustration PAGE 13: Robertâ€™s Direction to the Moon, January 2012, Digital Collage, Illustration PAGE 15, Top Left: Paradise for the Archaic, July 2013, Digital Collage, Illustration PAGE 15, Top Right: Viscera in Bloom, July 2013, Digital Collage, Illustration PAGE 15, Bottom Left: Paradise for the Depraved, July 2013, Digital Illustration PAGE 16: Graze the Chafe, June 2010, Digital Collage + Mixed Media
The 22 Magazine: Where are you from and how did you start to explore art? Ben Giles: I’m from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. Art has always been an interest growing up, in all mediums, art, music, film and television, these things become prominent in what I wanted to do more and more until I left school, it was in my opinion the only option that I could possibly take.
22: Are there any other moments in your life that you believe these collages are attempting to connect to?
22: Did you recently graduate at Kingston College or are you still there now?
BG: There are a few that reflect similar moments, or feelings, but I try to avoid an autobiographical approach. It’s less about me and more about the characters and moments which others can connect to.
BG: I’m still studying there. I’ve just completed my first year.
22: What appeals to you about the recurring themes in your work: flowers, anatomy, and butterflies?
22: What is art school doing for you artistically, if anything?
BG: The flowers in a way are the most autobiographical to me. They started appearing after dealing with a certain time in my life, which was quite a struggle, yet mirrored the relief and vulnerability once it was over. It’s a strong metaphor for this admiration for the things around me again, and a need to break out. It’s overly positive. The anatomy side is something that helps the narrative. It’s extremely human, but mostly it’s just something that I find really cool. I love anatomy models in schools. I also love animal skulls, pop out books, and science museums.
BG: It’s giving me the time, space, and support to work independently in a creative environment, and surrounding me with some really great friends and coursemate’s whose work I admire. It also offers the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas. It’s allowing a constructive criticism that helps. For coming art students, I would say try as much as possible even if the outcomes aren’t perfect. It’s a chance to explore mediums otherwise inaccessible and meet similar minded people. If this is something you want to do, go into it one hundred percent, make the most of everything available and work on having a strong practice that you feel a certain pride for and want to share. 22: Many of your pieces seem to depict a moment in time that seems to carry great significance for the characters in the picture. What is about collage that you feel is the ideal medium for defining this moment? BG: I like that I try to avoid randomness in the collage pieces, to avoid the sense of a few pieces of paper stuck together to create abstract notions. There is definitely significance to the characters and the situations or moments they are experiencing, and the influence of film and television on the collage pieces is important. With collage, that moment or a fraction of the moment being created has already happened; it’s photographed. What’s interesting is the way different collage artists experience this themselves, then decide how to interpret it and retell it. With older images, there’s a history, a sense of importance with the people and scenarios involved. What I try to do is give it movement, to
capture the transition from still photograph to moment, to interpret the story already there and bring it to life. So that these characters are no longer still, but living in a universe I’ve created.
22: There seems to be an excess of pattern and neon colors in many of your works? BG: Initially, when creating something, color can be quite intimidating. I avoided it at first, but it has become an incredibly useful and important tool in creating these moments or highlighting narratives. In regards to the patterns, its a fairly compulsive/obsessive process. Once I’ve started its a little too late to stop. Sometimes finding the right place for a cutout of a planet or certain colored object can take a long time. Its mostly a set of subconscious rules that I follow often without realizing within the college’s universe. I’d like to think that the majority of the pieces I’ve created all coexist. These moments are happening within this world to all these characters at different times or at the same time, and for the most part it needs the same feel and have the same palette of colors. It’s almost like a writer with a new character or adding an instrument to a song. Even if the riff or idea is great, if it doesn’t fit with the rest, or if it becomes too excessive, then it doesn’t go in.
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LIFE STORY BY HOWIE GOOD COLLAGE BY FLORE KUNST Someone elseâ€™s blood was dripping into me all night from the plastic bag on the pole. He doesnâ€™t have enough blood to keep a chicken alive, the doctor in the plaid bathrobe said. The whore nodded and lit a cigarette to have something to do with her hands. They had been waking me up every fifteen minutes, once in the middle of a dream where I was younger than you and beautiful and flying in echelon over the dry white oceans of the moon.
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SCOTT DICKSON The 22 Magazine: Where did you grow up and how did you get started doing art? Scott Dickson: I grew up in a “walk everywhere” type of neighborhood, Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb near Chicago. It is quiet, wholesome, and fairly bland, but ideal for raising kids. At a young age, I remember sitting with my uncle and watching him draw one of the cartoon-like muscle cars that you see in those old CARtoons comics by Pete Millar. It was one of those moments where you see a drawing come to life—very inspiring. My formal beginnings in art were classes I took from a member of a local art league, who is a friend’s mom, and a local artist and high school art teacher. Of that experience, I remember going to a local park and working on some plein air drawings. The classes were mixed age and I was one of the youngest—eight years old, I think. I was pretty bad, I am sure that having older, more developed students around me helped shape my sense of what was possible. From there I made sure to take any art-related courses throughout my public school education before college. Nothing fancy. 22: You attended school in Kansas and Pennsylvania, correct? Much of your work involves simplified statements, and works with the illusion of flat terrain. This remains very much within the aesthetic of the Midwest itself. Did this terrain or atmosphere contribute to your aesthetic? SD: I attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas for my BFA, and then the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia for my MFA. Over the years I have come to understand that I am very much a product of the Midwest, a relationship that started in Illinois and became solidified in Kansas. Recently I met someone from Maine who said that when she traveled to Nebraska she was constantly anxious and felt lost among an endless landscape. She needed the comfort of being
surrounded and engulfed by trees and the wilderness. This really struck me, because I often feel the complete opposite. I feel most at ease when I have a sense of the open, when my surroundings feel as though they could expand endlessly. I had an hour-long commute driving from my apartment to where I worked in Kansas City. I was driving through farmlands and vast open areas, and to be honest, for the most part, those were fantastic drives, especially when big storms would roll through. The landscape was then a large space being broken by a form. I think it offered a sense of scale that is really moving for me. 22: Your work is inspired by progressive rock album art of the 1970s? Which albums inspire you, specifically? SD: Some of my favorite album covers and gatefolds include anything done by Roger Dean who is most known for his work with Yes (check out “Tales From Topographic Oceans and Drama”), but who has done work for a number of groups consistently since the late ‘60s. Other artistc favorites include Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Tarkus,” Judas Priest’s “Point of Entry,” Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells, “ Rush’s “Hemispheres,” Gila’s “Free Electronic Sound,” and Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Birds of Fire”—just to name a few. 22: You work with postcards, adds some level of nostalgia to your pieces. Do you have any specific ephemera you are drawn to? SD: I am very much drawn to images and objects that have a sense of nostalgia. I think this is a natural response for most people. We have a certain need to look backwards in order to be able to embrace the future. Maybe this allows us to have some balance in our lives. So in a general sense, I am attracted to objects and images that seem both of the past and of the future. The postcards act
directly as a vehicle to talk about time. The places on the cards are captured by a photographer at one point. Someone who most likely visited at another point. This person sends the card to someone at a later point, and then possibly the card and its memory are finally dug up by a friend or family member 20 years later. Everyone is part of the timeline. I then have the opportunity to manipulate the cards further, giving them a new life, a new meaning. The idea that one card has a number of histories and memories tied to it is extremely compelling to me. Aside from their conceptual nature, the cards themselves have such a range of physical qualities that when mixed they become intriguing to investigate in a purely visual way. 22: What kind of different elements does collage offer you that painting does not and vice versa? SD: I have always had the need to constantly edit and move elements around in my work. To me, collage is the most direct and informative way to go about this. There is also constant information to respond to with collage: one image or cut can lead to an infinite number of results. This sort of decision-making is very exciting for me. On the other hand, I have always been one who needs immediate results and this is where painting has the edge. Working in collage has really forced me to slow down, to analyze more, and to develop a stronger sense of craft that was maybe missing in my painting. I think one other element I miss from painting is the romance of paint. The range of surface and mark that can be achieved with paint
is a real draw for me. I do think that there is potential for this in my current workâ€”it just has to come from other places. 22: You recently hiked the Appalachian Trail. Tell me a little about this trip. What was important about it to you personally and artistically? Has it inspired future series or artistic endeavors? SD: Hiking the Appalachian Trail is like no other experience. I was lucky in that I got the opportunity to do this with my wife, who shared and encouraged my desire to walk the Trail. It is everything that one could experience in a lifetime condensed into a five-month time span. As complex as that sounds, the feat itself is simple: start in northern Georgia on Springer Mountain, walk north to the middle of Maine, and stop on top of Mount Katahdin. All you have to do is follow the white blazes on the trees or stones as you walk. You carry everything you need to live in a backpack and your family is everyone you encounter, becoming your shelter and your community. I donâ€™t find a distinction between what was learned personally and artistically; both are each other. My understanding of myself and my surroundings, of people and nature, of relationships and emotions were all put up for examination. I am still trying to understand everything that I went through but I am unsure that I ever will. All I know is that at some point it will come out in my work, and that is a comforting thought.
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BELLISSIMO INTERVIEW BY EVA RICHTER
Eva Richter: When did you start photographing? Alexandra Bellissimo: I started photographing at the age of 17. When I picked up my first camera, I knew that I had found the perfect creative outlet for me. I was immediately fascinated with the challenges that photographers face— the idea of creating “art” by photographing what already exists in front of you. ER: Why did you choose to incorporate collage elements into your photography? AB: In this day and age, anyone can point-and-click a camera and produce a quality image. In order to differentiate myself from most photographers, I chose to incorporate collaging into my work by constructing unique images, rather than just snapping pictures with a camera. It is important to me that my body of work is memorable. ER: You have a photo collage series entitled “Metamorphosis.” What does metamorphosis mean to you? AB: The title of the series itself is a fictional play on the scientific terminology of “metamorphosis”—an organism changing or evolving into a different form or stage of life. The photo collages show a transformation when the human form becomes “mutated” with that of an insect. The results have proven to be strange and surreal, which further inspire me to experiment with these insect-people hybrids. ER: I’m interested in the title of your other photo collage series, “Simulations,” as well, in which you mix images of people and plant life to show, for example, a woman with a tree trunk for legs. What is being simulated in these images? AB: My series, “Simulations,” explores the physical and psychological relation between nature and human beings when merged together. When both subjects are manipulated together through collage (example: the female’s torso transitioning into the tree trunk), they begin to imitate each other’s shapes, forms, and anatomy. Nature always inspired
me because it is a living organism that can take on many appearances (i.e., soft, jagged, lush, stark), much like human beings. The series is intended to unify the two together in such a way where both nature and people coexist. ER: You work in both black and white and color photography. Why do you choose one or the other for a particular image? AB: I much prefer to work in black and white because I appreciate how timeless and minimalistic it is. Working in color is more of a challenge because I find it can actually be distracting when I’m trying to seamlessly merge two subjects together in any given piece. ER: Would you talk a little about the process behind your photo collages? Do you photograph digitally or with film? Do you collage digitally or by hand? AB: I always shoot digitally. I prefer how time efficient digital photography is—especially considering how much time and effort goes into assembling each collage (which is constructed by hand). The collaging process starts by taking prints of my photography and physically cutting (using an X-Acto blade), then layering, and finally adhering them on top of one another in order to create a one-of-a-kind collage. ER: What do you think is the impact of digital cameras and digital photo-editing techniques on photography and collage art? AB: I think it’s great that digital photography and photo - editing software have become more accessible to professional and amateur photographers, because the opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries in photography and collage art have amplified. However, there is a certain level of skill and craftsmanship required when physically piecing together a photo collage by hand. I personally believe there’s a unique quality of a tangible collage that can not be replicated digitally.
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ANDREA BURGAY INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: You were born, studied, and now work in New York. Do you find that the idea of home plays an important role in your work or your personal life? ANDREA BURGUAY: I was born in Syracuse, NY and grew up in a suburb called Liverpool. I spent a lot of my time at libraries reading and doing puzzles with my mother. My father is the organist and music director of a Catholic church where the stained glass and ceiling paintings were one of my first experiences of art. The green hills, fall leaves, muted blue skies, grey buildings and snow resonated with me as the colors of a classic landscape. In high school, I took as many art classes as I could. I started making collages then. My bedroom was covered with old magazine pages and photos. Music was a big influence—Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Pavement. Like many other suburban teenagers, my friends and I were forging our own world making art out of things we found around—old magazines from the garage, clothes from the thrift store, weird recording devices. I always wanted to be an artist, but didn’t consider myself one then. Now, I look back on these experiences as crucial steps on the path I still follow. EP: You are versed in many types of artistic media, including sculpture, printmaking, installation, drawing, and painting—as well as collage. Are there ways all these different media inform each other? AB: I have moved very slowly through experimentation with different types of artistic media. My studies at SUNY Purchase and SVA were primarily in drawing and painting. I made paintings with very flat layers of color, like topographical maps. I had one collage class at Purchase, but primarily made collages and books of cut-out images on my own, occasionally showing them alongside my drawings and paintings. At SVA I tried cartooning a little bit and took some sculpture classes. At that time, I was making delicate cut-outs of the models in my figure drawing classes and, arranging them in multiple formations.Translating silhouette-like forms into three di-
mensions intrigued me and I began experimenting with sculpture. For my thesis presentation, I showed a series of hand-sewn soft sculptures based on ghosts of stuffed animals. As I continued making art in my own studio, collage and sculpture surfaced as the ways I was most interested in working. Collage had always been a way for me to work out problems and ideas through an associative process, while sculpture concepts tend to come to me in a more direct manner. In the last year, after a fellowship at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, I renewed my appreciation of paint. Working on a series of watercolor monotypes reawakened an interest in gesture and mark making with a brush. I began to integrate pieces from these prints into my collage work, to paint over areas of the collages, and incorporate painted pieces into them. EP: For what reason(s) are you drawn in a particular moment to collage? AB: Collage conveys immediacy and makes connections between disparate elements. As well as colors, my palette can include images, textures, skin tones, aged papers, etc. These pieces stolen from photographs also have a deeper connection to a sense of reality that photography offers over painting. I have always been drawn to magazines and books and enjoyed the tactile experience of turning pages. The possibility of cutting apart, taking out parts, and using fragments is very appealing. EP: To me, your works do not immediately expose themselves as “collages.” Rather your works seem to appear as collections of connected colors and shapes that only upon closer examination are revealed to have a variety of origins and textures. Can you talk a bit about your work in relation to collage as a tradition? AB: My background in drawing and painting has had a large influence on the direction my collage work has taken. The breakdown of collage elements into small pieces allows them to act as marks or brushstrokes, creating a larger form, movement or gesture. The collage By the Window 2 features amassed skin tones and body parts. In a piece like this, the combination of a variety of body parts makes the human forms universal—they have no specific gender or nationality. They represent humanness, and have the potential that we all have to convey feeling and emotion, even in their altered state. The lack of clarity or a concrete understanding of what is happening allows for more interpretations or multiple readings of the piece. EP: Which themes, ideas, or messages do you feel are par-
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ticularly present or significant in your work? AB: To me, each piece exists as a combination of place and of feeling merging to create an emotional landscape. Facing inevitable loss and moving forward through creation may be a broad way to break down what a lot of my work is getting at. Shedding light on things that are disturbing or fearful, such as our relationship to deterioration and decay, is a way for me to become comfortable with the truths of life. EP: I am struck by the titles of many of your works, such as No God, Only Religion, Only Place You Can Go, What Might Have Been Lost, etc. Do you feel titles are important to experiencing your work? AB: The titles are a very important way for me to encapsulate a feeling I associate with the work. I want the titles to evoke a specific idea, which adds another level to the way a viewer might understand a piece. I have lists of words that I think of when in the process of making a piece, and when reading or listening to unrelated things. Combining these words is an intuitive activity. Many of my titles are taken from song lyrics or titles. No God, Only Religion is a song by Spiritualized and What Might Have Been Lost is by Bon Iver. Music is a huge source of inspiration and in borrowing these words, I hope to commemorate and pay tribute to my muses. EP: In describing your art, you mention “the cyclical nature of life, death, and decay, the states of change and flux beings exist in, and the possibility of transcending the earthly realm” as areas which your work explores. Can you talk a bit about these themes and how you express them? AB: I am very afraid of losing people and memories. Sav-
ing objects and materials serve as a way to memorialize and preserve moments from the transience of time. Using these materials in my work is a way for me to transform them, focusing on creation and change. Imagery in my work also reflects these concerns. After making work that focuses on accepting the eventual breakdown and deterioration of our bodies, I wanted to explore what then makes life meaningful. Celebration and rituals are reasons for humans to gather, share, and express love and appreciation. Across most religions, as well as in secular life, celebrations are a way to mark important moments. They are also a way to feel connected to something greater, whether spiritually, or in a deeper sense of connection with others. These act as a counter to death and are all part of the cycles we endure as humans. Combining these elements in my work is a way for me to understand my life, which I hope may extend towards others. EP: Is viewer-response important to you as an artist? AB: It’s interesting to me that I sometimes get very opposing reactions to my work. Some people are drawn to what they feel is beautiful in it. Others may respond to the visceral aspects and think it is disturbing or gross. EP: What professional or artistic goals do you have as an artist? Are there particular ways in which you plan to challenge yourself in the future? AB: I am searching for ways to present my work in a unified fashion. I am very interested in making books of my collages and am planning to learn new skills and expand into video. I have worked on several collaborative projects in the last year and enjoy having another artists’ work as a starting point, or having mutual input into a project. I hope to create the potential for more collaboration, possibly in new and different environments.
NICHOLAS INTERVIEW LOCKYER BY EVA RICHTER
Eva Richter: You majored in sculpture at the London Metropolitan University, correct? Nicholas Lockyer: I did indeed, it was a great experience. I learned lots of techniques and honed many skills that I have transferred to the collage medium. I initially saw myself using collage to flesh out a sketch for a sculpture, but I soon found it a more interesting and honest realization than the final sculptural piece. I still have an interest in collage and I have some plans for large sculptural pieces and installation works that will be placed alongside the collages, bringing a new perspective to the work. I love the idea of transferring the ideas and working with stone and marble alongside found paper. ER: What attracts or doesn’t attract you to certain images? NL: They are all linked, because they follow a tribe or collective group or a belief system. There is a quasi-religious theme being explored. They all venerate a different sacred object, being either a god or a tank of oxygen for the diver. ER: What are your sources for found imagery? NL: They range from old science textbooks to cookbooks and vintage magazines. I turn the book upside down and look for textures and colors without being aware of its original form. ER: You’ve mentioned the importance of shock value for your art before. Could you elaborate? NL: Everybody vies to be seen and to have their work taken notice of. I think shock can be used well to gain people’s attention but not necessarily in a gratuitous way. I adore old vintage B horror movies and idolize Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. The Hammer horror and Hollywood B-movies had to navigate censorship and what could and could not be shown to the audiences. They had to become more suggestive and metaphorical rather than purely visceral. I try to imply this within my work. I say that, but then paradoxically I do also enjoy the slime and gore in films such as John Carpenter’s The Thing.
shocking. One example that comes to mind is Mat Collishaw’s piece Bullet Hole. It’s immediately shocking, but then as a viewer you begin to question the abstracted form and look beyond the initial representation. ER: On your website you mention the writer William S. Burroughs is one of your influences. I’m interested in what aspects of his thought or method had the biggest effect on your work? NL: The 1950s American writers have a huge effect on me. Burroughs’ unique cut-up beat poetry style and his visualization of the bizarre, surreal, seedy Moroccan locations in Naked Lunch really impressed me. The fact that you can read any part of the book in any order and that it’s essentially a large collection of vignettes influenced my collage style. It doesn’t have to make sense. In fact, having a multitude of possible ways of viewing or reading such mediums makes the process exciting, confusing and abstract. ER: How has cinema influenced your artistic work? NL: I’m a massive cinema fan and will spend hours watching classics, obscure and cult films. Film for me is incredibly inspirational. I would even go so far as to say that I’m more influenced by film than any other medium. Directors such as David Lynch and David Cronenberg are stand-out directors, but directors such as Alejandro Jodorowsky, with his films The Holy Mountain and El Topo, revolutionized the way I reacted to film. It made me question everything that constitutes cinema because of the lack of a linear narrative and the mind-bending visuals. ER: When you start a collage, do you know what you want it to look like in the end? NL: I start with an idea from a sketchbook and then identify the source material. I have so many books that I find myself navigating for about an hour. Having done this I then play around with the pieces, seeing how they fit and interact with one another. I tend to be ruthless with the source material. I will rip and cut and paint over it while considering every action.
ER: What makes an a piece shocking? NL: Ultimately, what’s shocking depends on the context and the audience you are aiming to shock. I believe that the ability to make people continue to look beyond the guise of an immediate sense of horror renders an art piece
ER: Your work is very focused on the body and mutations of the body. How did this interest develop? NL: I think the human body is an absolutely fascinating machine. Mutations are a natural part of evolution. I take
these mutations to the nth degree. From a very early age I remember my mum, who is a nurse, bringing home these old textbooks and leaflets about wounds and growths. I would curiously flick through and read these medical books, finding myself absolutely horrified but fascinated at the same time. ER: How does collaging relate to your interest in mutation and metamorphosis? NL: I believe that the physical process of cutting and choosing the best parts of the source material becomes a form of mutation. It is a scissors-and-glue approach, rather than a chemical alteration of the genome of an organism. ER: Do you feel your work disrupts or comments on contemporary attitudes towards the body? NL: We are living in a society of excess in many developed countries, huge weight fluctuations from tanned toned bodies to morbid obesity. I had never really thought about my work fitting into a contemporary attitude to the body but in many ways it does. I’m just cutting through obvious advertised billboard imagery and going straight to what we are all made of, tissues, and fat. ER: Many of your collages feature headlessnes. What does this icon signify to you? NL: The head is the first and most important signifier of identity. We have the incredible ability to recognize thousands of faces and identities over our lifetime. Once the face or head has been covered or removed, we become confused; we can no longer identify with that person or thing. This idea has been contemplated throughout humanity. With the covered or removed head we then have the ability to become someone or something else. All human attributes such as status, wealth and looks can change in an instant when masked. It’s this idea of iden-
tity in a state of flux that I enjoy using within my work. ER: I’m interested in your series of collages called “Cowboys and Communists.” What do these two archetypes have in common? NL: I have always loved cowboy films and the mythology behind them. I found myself using the cowboy imagery in the same way as my previous works. They both fit into the theme of groups or collections of outsiders; they occupy a collective space in society’s psyche but it’s no longer sociably relevant. In this series of work I have taken this idea and warped the stereotype into a new habitat that can sit comfortably alongside my other paper mutations. With the communist imagery I understood that the ideology is still alive today, but the idea of the colorful constructivist propaganda used in China and Russia has become outdated. So it felt natural that this group should occupy the same space as the cowboy mythology. ER: What are you working on currently? NL: It’s a secret… Okay I will tell you. Currently, I am working on a collaborative project with Joseph Cartwright, a fellow collage artist, that concentrates on the collage process, and the possible options and alternatives that can be achieved. ER: Any plans for future projects? NL: I have many plans. As I mentioned earlier, I have plans to continue making collages that direct the work into a three-dimensional context, and I am also thinking about the possibility of translating the ideas into installation and performance pieces. ER: What kind of response do you hope to elicit with your work? NL: Intrigue.
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ARIANE JURQUET COLLAGE 2012-002, 2012, COLLAGE ON
BAIRNWORT: EXCERCISE #1 BY JULIE GARD
The ideal childhood I almost had was replete with sighing daisies. What softer blossom opened in 1974? Mothers everywhere adorned themselves with bellis perennis, smelled like them, wore them in their hair and underwear, and the sidewalks were strewn with delicate, common white petals. Soft yellow discs pressed against the noses of hopeful children as they inhaled the earliest time, a familiar face leaning over the crib, the loveworn eye of the day. A decade full of popped, resilient flowers. Moroccan, African, Carmel, Shasta, in all your worldly ranges of purple peach blue salt of the sea, petal me in all the days I weep after, blowing my nose into another ending. Circle me in eternityâ€™s flower-chain: ox-eye over the ocean, floret in the notebook, striped seed on the wind.
Image: und am 26. juli, 2013, pasted paper
FRED FREE INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
Elizabeth Perry: You have a fairly diverse background, can you tell us about studying art in school, and the role you think your background plays in your work? Fred Free: As an architecture major who also loved art, I had the best of both worlds at RISD as I got to learn from and be around artists, as well as architectural designers — an experience I wouldn’t have had if I had chosen a more architecture-centric school. Sitting in on painting crits, attending fashion shows, and animation premiers, hearing lectures from art historians, being roommates with a printmaker and industrial designer, taking collage courses; all of these things influenced my architectural ideas at the time and along with my travel and work since, are vital experiences I draw from even today. EP: How did you become interested in art? FF: I guess I was always interested in both art and architecture because I can’t remember a time when they weren’t part of my life in some way. My older brother regularly amazed me with his art projects so that’s probably where I got most of my art inspiration, but my mother was probably the main reason I was interested in architecture as she used to sketch floor plans of our house on scraps of paper before she rearranged the furniture. She was a housewife and not a designer of any kind, but the idea of drawing and planning must have just gotten into my system over the years because it was around eighth grade that I became more focused on it. Obsessed even. I wrote school reports on the subject and visited a local architect on career day. I was hooked and throughout high school I basically lived and breathed architecture. It wasn’t until 2004 that I really began to focus on it. EP: What are your influences? Are they intellectual, personal? FF: My influences include the 1960s and 70s in general, my childhood, my kid’s art, my collage artist friends, Robert Rauschenberg, Kurt Schwitters, Ray Johnson, FLUXUS, Rem Koolhaus, Steven Holl, David Byrne, experimental and electronic music, e. e. cummings, science fiction, how-to books, the dictionary, the internet, TV, libraries, landscapes, parking lots, unused buildings, advertising, and the things people throw away. EP: There is something very immediate about many of your works, including math journal and nature studies 1-5, which give off a vague sense of familiarity or closeness. Is this aspect something you notice or strive for in your work? FF: I’ve had others say similar things, and I certainly feel the familiarity because it’s my work, but I’m not purpose-
fully striving for it. I’ve had people get a feeling from a piece that had never crossed my mind, but that’s what spoke to them and it was awesome to hear. In the end, I just make what I make because I need to make it. Whatever someone senses from it is up to them. EP: Your work showcases an intriguing and eclectic range of found objects, including cardboard, book pages, packing materials, paper bags, and more. How do you choose your media, and what does the use of found objects signify for you? FF: How I choose my media has evolved over time. When I first got back into collage, I used to walk through alleys and hope to find some unique discarded items to work with when I got back to my studio that day. It was all very immediate and relied on a high degree of chance. Now I stock up on old books and magazines I find at secondhand stores and yard sales, trade materials with other artists and am given things from people who know what I like. Often these are items with some patina which are usually at least 35 years old. Because these things are, for the most part, stuff other people don’t want anymore, I think what it might signify is a desire to find worth in the (perceived) worthless. EP: Can you describe your artistic process when you sit down to work on a piece, or multiple pieces? FF: When I sit down I feel like an explorer. I explore materials and form. And order, disorder, color, connections, coincidence, time, speed, equations, mystery, history, personal history, identity, intuition, education, preconception, rules, commodity, community, communication, language, relationships and more I’m sure. It’s always different. Every piece is a random roadtrip for me triggered by an image, text bit, idea, memory or even music I’m listening to at the time. It could be any number of things. Just no plan. EP: For what purpose do you use text in your collage? FF: I grew up in a wordplay, figures of speech, pun-filled house in which my dad was always writing limericks and poetry. My grandfather was the editor of an almanac. My first job was in a book store, then a library. And my experience as an architectural designer and technical illustrator included many many hours of labeling drawings. So my collages almost couldn’t help but contain text in some way as I more or less pay homage and/or poke fun at my own resume and early family life. That being said, in most pieces, I see text as just another element with no more or less significance then the image bits surrounding it. EP: Specifically, you like to play around the word “free.”
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How would you explain your interest in this idea of “free,” or of art being free?
bits, it feels very full circle to leave something for someone else to find.
FF: When I chose my name back in ‘97, being “free” simply had to do with being a freelancer. Over the years it has developed into an expression of being free to do what I do and not being stuck in some office. So the use of the word in my work is both as a signature and a little bit of a reminder to myself of what I have here. Although it has confused some people over the years to the point where people have walked off with some of my books thinking they were “free” when in those particular cases, they were most definitely not.
EP: You’ve described your work as “minimalist collage.” What does that description signify for you and how do you think your work relates to those of other collage artists?
EP: What do you feel is the value of collaborating with other artists? FF: I’ve collaborated mostly with collage artists in recent years and in all cases, the value is seeing how and what others do up close and not just on a screen, creating lasting social and artistic connections and letting go of my own ego a little (as it can be very humbling when someone alters what you do.) EP: According to the descriptions on your website, in addition to utilizing found objects, you often leave your work in, on, or near public places, including parking lots, junk yards, boarded up buildings, railroad tracks, libraries, and so on. Why do you leave your art in public spaces? FF: I leave work in all of those places because I think every place can be a gallery of sorts. It’s small scale guerrilla art that doesn’t leave a mark. The locations I choose usually relate in some small way to at least one part of the collage, if not the overall feeling I get from the finished piece. And since a lot of the elements I use are “found”
FF: It doesn’t apply all of the time, but it means that on many pieces I purposefully keep the number of elements I use down to a minimum. It doesn’t signify as much as stem directly from having been a minimalist/modernist “less is more” kind of architectural designer. And in life I’m into empty space as much as objects so this desire carries over into my collages. I think my work relates to that of other collage artists because we all use actual scissors and actual glue. Regardless of whether I’m a minimalist and others are not, that is our very strong underlying connection—a mutual desire to cut and paste. To reuse things. To stick things together that were never meant to be stuck together. EP: What do you hope to achieve with your work? How do you foresee yourself evolving as an artist? FF: I want to make work that is true to my experiences and vision, but also speaks to at least a handful of other people as well. Since I feel that the second part of that desire is largely out of my control, the first part is very important. I hope I am always evolving as an artist in some way, but back when I was designing buildings I could have never foreseen what I do now (and have grown to like that kind of mystery), so I can’t possibly see what comes next. On my particular trip, it’s all about the drive and not the destination.
BRANDON MCLEAN INTERVIEW BY EVA RICHTER
Eva Richter: Where did you grow up? Where do you live? Brandon McLean: I grew up in South Florida in the West Palm Beach area. I also spent a lot of time in the Florida Keys at my grandparents’ house. I live in Orlando, Florida, now, I’ve been here since 2005. ER: Tell me a little about your art education. BM: I went to a typical state university here in Florida. I actually started off as a history major. I remember taking a black and white photography course, and ended up spending a ton of time in the darkroom and library, where I started to discover artists, and photographers. Coming across Peter Beard was a big eye-opener. I began compiling my own journal type books, and crude artworks on wood, or badly stretched canvases. I decided to switch my major to art, because it’s all I was doing in my time away from school anyways. I had a couple excellent teachers who really brought things out of me, and allowed me to explore my own ideas, and directions. I had another teacher who wanted to control your work, and have his hand in it so much, that it really turned me off to formal education. I started slowly hating school, and was more into what I was making away from it anyways. At the time I was working with my dad doing carpentry, and making good money, so I left school. It’s all been self-taught since then, just looking at art, and making lots of bad pieces, figuring things out along the way. ER: Did you have any childhood experiences that had an influence on your artistic work or your desire to become an artist? BM: I never really did too much art as a kid, I think I was more into sports. I had a near-death experience suffering a stroke when I was eighteen, and I tend to give it a lot of credit as a reason for becoming an artist. I don’t know for sure if it was the one catalyst that turned me onto the art path, but it definitely opened my eyes towards the fleeting nature of life, and how it can be all over on a random Monday morning. But whenever your brain gets messed
with, it has to change something inside you, right? My dad was a very creative guy in many ways, from carpentry to auto mechanics, or drawing the logo for my Little League baseball team, an all-around Renaissance man. He definitely had some influence also as far as being a selfemployed guy out there doing what he was good at, and working his ass off to make a life for his family. ER: Any artists or authors who particularly influenced you? BM: Robert Rauschenberg was one of the first artists I came across, and definitely had some influence in my early works. Mainly with the use of varied materials, and pop culture imagery. The combining of paint and objects made a lot of sense to me for some reason. Some other favorites are John Baldessari, Barry McGee, Paul Gauguin, and Joseph Beuys. I like to read a lot too, and have drawn out some influence from the likes of Denis Johnson, Charles Bukowski, and Raymond Carver. I love their minimal use of words, and simple beautiful and sometimes sad stories. I gravitate towards melancholy a lot. ER: What are your sources for found imagery? What attracts you to certain images and not others? BM: The sources for the imagery have changed over the years. I have used a lot of family photographs, paper relics, newspapers, books, Life magazines, old National Geographics, and nature books. Actually, Tumblr has become a resource of late. There are so many images on there, and with some of the recent aesthetic changes I’ve made in my work, I’ve fallen in love with these old VHSstyle screen captures. I love the lo-fi quality imagery I can find on there. I like what John Baldessari has to say about why he chooses one thing and not another. It really just stems down to a choice of this and not that. ER: What do you find in retro or nostalgic images that you don’t find in their contemporary counterparts? BM: Maybe it has something to do with the mystery of them. Images that came about when had yet to come about. For me mainly, it has become more about the printed colors of the images from the past, and their faded qualities. Especially for the collage works, the paper texture is really important for me. I can’t use some super glossy contemporary magazine page. It just doesn’t appeal to me. ER: I’m interested in the simplicity of some of your most
striking collages (for example, your collage of the rainforest with the small pulp illustration in the corner). Was there a particular moment when you realized how much you could do with what might seem like so little? BM: I can’t say I’ve had an exact moment where I had that realization, but I’ve come to enjoy simple things in both art and life. Learning that you don’t have to overdo things, or that it’s ok to stop when you feel it’s right. I mean that particular collage, Rumble In The Jungle, just kind of happened. I had piles of imagery on my desk. I tend to dig through my archives just separating images, finding ones I like; an initial attraction, no idea how I may use it at that time. And I had that image of the two guys fighting over the female, next to it was this picture of dense jungle and the words Rumble In The Jungle came to mind, from the Muhammad Ali fight with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. Sometimes it’s just stupid little things like that, there is some connection to popular culture, some humorous take on it. ER: Some of your collages also have an interesting unfinished quality that seem to mimic the wear and disappearance of the images you use. How did that develop? BM: The series of collages I did called Peyote Poems were kind of the first step in that direction I think. It was about making work on an instinctual level, to not worry too much, or plan. It was to sit amongst a large deposit of imagery and grab and glue. Cut it up, use the scraps, follow your eye, hide things, make something different. ER: I noticed a lot of greenery and vegetation in your collages. What is the relationship between nature and people in your collages?
BM: Vegetation and foliage in the collages has been a somewhat recent addition to the work. I feel like there were years there where I never used the color green in my work. I’m really embarrassed by that, and now it’s become my favorite color to use. There is an obvious relationship between man and nature, the beauty and mystery of it amazes me. Nature can wow us, scare us, calm us, or kill us. ER: How do you think your work has changed over the years? BM: I think it’s gotten better. I have gained confidence in both my working and thinking processes. A gradual shift from a heavy pop art influence to perhaps somewhere on the edge. I think art making is a very personal thing. Relates to our current states. Like ourselves it’s always changing, adapting, discovering, and discarding. Right now I find myself at a point where I just want to shed some of my past notions of should. Simply make things that I want to see. Explore my current intuitions in regards to content, color scheme, and composition. Investigate my own strange. To not be too uptight or think all that much into anything. ER: What are some of the “should’s” that you are trying to shed? BM: I’m trying to not worry about how accessible the work is right now. It doesn’t all need to be a specific piece that I can hang in some show on a white wall. I want to use other materials, get off the wall, get weird. I’m trying to use some of that gained confidence in my eye and instinct and change my previous rules. Jumping in with two feet into my current love of specific colors, or rewiring my preconceived notions of proper composition. I just want to learn to trust myself, and make confident work.
PAGE 50: Guy’s Weekend, 2011, collage on paper PAGE 53: No Idea What This Is Called, 2012, collage on paper PAGE 54 : Rumble In The Jungle, 2013, collage on paper
KANITTA MEECHBOT COLLAGE BY
EXERCISE #1: THE TREE BY MURIEL MANN
“Did you know? We met in the spring? There were lily’s, just coming up from the ground. Your grandmother was one. Pure white, pink on the edges. Shy, and craving the sun.” “By this time, your grandfather was already a gardener,” my grandmother replied blushing; enough to see my grandfather spoke the truth. I would ask them where and they would describe the tree. It’s root’s twice the size of your waist; as tall as a 4 year old child. The tree had no end, the clouds were it’s peak. Green leaves in the spring, purple blossoms. They covered the ground like snow and filled the air thick with a sweetness that you made you dizzy. In the fall the leaves turn bright yellow, than gold. In the winter, its limbs were cracks in the sky and my grandparents were certain it was the doorway to heaven. “When I saw your grandmother, sitting below it, breathing until she fell backwards into a bed of petals, I knew this was the place we would make our home,” Grandfather would say, rubbing his index finger, slowly over the crevices in grandmother’s spotted hand. In a tree, spread out between 2 limbs, there lived a mockingbird, and a snake. The greatest of enemies, who had made a home together. In between their nest, my grandfather carved out 6 rooms. A bedroom, a study, a sitting room with wallpaper covered in soft purple flowers, a kitchen, a meditation room and a shrine to his parents, his ancestors, and all the gods of the tree. They lived there together, stretching out on the limbs to watch the passing of the sky, the goings on of the mockingbird and the snake (the mockingbird had wanted dry grass for the interior of the nest, snake had brought fresh and was currently considering the kind justice of his lack of traditional hearing.) In their 4th month, grandmother found a miniature deer in the woods. Lamed by an amateur hunter, grandmother carried it home and forged out a nest below the sitting room with the excess grass snake had gathered. It lived there for 3 months, during which time grandmother would carry it in her market basket down to the base of the tree. It would hobble behind her, as she plucked fruit for the afternoon meals. The mockingbird
sometimes rode on it’s back, picking at small gnats that landed on it’s hide. Snake trailed behind, lamenting his lack of traditional legs. One afternoon, on the eve of the last day of the 3rd month, as the sun was setting slanting through the trees, grandmother went below to comb out the deer’s coat and give it warm mango juice before bed, she found the bed empty, and in the deer’s place a small yellow flower, with blossoms like golden bells. On one of the bell’s rested a large white moth. When she reached to touch it, it shot up in a burst of white powder and was gone. The next day, my grandmother found herself pregnant with my father. “He was a difficult child,” Grandmother would say, smiling, her eyes softening, “but he was sweet as the smell of the purple blossoms.” “He was a great climber,” Grandfather would remind her, looking subdued. “Tell me,” I would say, “Tell me again what happened.” Grandfather would sigh. Long, slow, a release. Grandmother would turn off to the horizon, begin to pick at the grass growing in the cracks between the tiles. I knew they did not like to tell it. But I needed to hear it anyway. “He grew up in the tree,” Grandfather would begin, “he could not be like other children. Growing up so close to the doorway of the gods. Surrounded by tree spirits, with a snake and a mockingbird as realatives.” He always smelled like blossoms. The other children would make fun of him when he went to school, for his sweet smell, his golden hair, so unlike the midnight scalps of his playmates. They knew he was differet but they did not know what to do about it. He grew to be a young man, and soon not only was his beauty told on the ground but in the sky. At night grandmother and father would hear the creaking of the great gods door, and the giggle of the young goddess’ as they peered down onto the beautiful form of my father. They would leave gifts surrounding him: flowers with scents unknown to man, the most succulent snails, precious stones, and birds with wings like gemstones to do his bidding. His pride grew with these
gifts and before long he had made up his mind to seek out the goddess’ to repay them for their favor. Grandfather raged. In all his years in the tree, never had he considered knocking on the door of the gods. Though his respect ran deep as roots, his parents had told him stories of the mortals as the playthings of gods. “They will only want you as long as they will want you, and then they will throw you away!” Grandmother wailed, “What kind of life is that?” But father was stubborn, proud, and so young. That very night, he packed the treasured gifts, a picture of my grandparents, and a small amount of food. He kissed my Grandmother, Grandfather, the mockingbird, and snake, (who continuously hissed his displeasure with the whole thing), and started to climb. Grandfather and Grandmother laid out on the branches, watching their beautiful son grow smaller and smaller, and eventually disappear into the distant branches. They waited for hours to hear the great creak of the gods door, signaling entrance had been granted to their only treasure. After many hours of waiting they grew weary, and both fell asleep curled in the wide arms of the tree. 3 years passed without a word. Grandfather’s hair turned white, and he spent more and more time alone in meditation. Grandmother tended the gardens around the tree less and less. She grew sick with worry. Mockingbird and snake were at a loss. In the spring of the 3rd year, Grandmother was lying in the purple blanket at the base of the tree, picturing her beautiful son’s face, when mockingbird let out a great shriek! “Come! Come look!” she cried and Grandmother started up the tree as quickly as her stifening legs would carry her. As she came closer to the sound of Mockingbird, she saw Grandfather standing there, peering in wonder into the petals of great giant, white lily, pink at the edges, that seemingly had spring up overnight. As she stepped closer, there nestled in the thick petals, ripe with the scent of the purple flowers adorning the tree was a perfect, small, plump baby of no more than a few days. “This is how we found you,” Grandmother would whisper, her eyes growing moist, “you were perfect. A perfect little blossom. We knew you were our grandchild by your thick golden curls. We knew you were a child of a goddess.” “Tell me again why we left,” I would whisper, “….tell me about my mother.” “We did not know her “ Grandfather said, “but
we worried. We worried that you too, would wish to follow your father when you grew older. We knew the gods would not be able to ignore you for long. And we worried your mother would wish her child in the heavens with her.” “When you reached the age of 2, we bought an ox cart, loaded it with as much as we could carry, and started South, towards the sea, and the town there. We put you in a school, and hid your golden curls with hats and dark dye. We wanted to protect you,” Grandmother whispered, “we wanted to keep you.” For awhile they thought they had outwitted the goddess, that they had hidden me safe within the city walls, but on the eve of my 16th birthday, they found my room covered in purple petals, littered with unearthly flowers, sweet snails, precious stones, and they knew my mother and father was growing impatient to see me. They packed the ox cart with all they could carry, as they grew nearer the tree, they were greeted by the loud shrieks of the mockingbird welcoming them home. The tree grew strong and beautiful. Mocking bird had 3 baby birds crying in her nest. Snake hovered over them, circling them in his warm scales, feeding them snails and fresh grass with his forked tongue, admiring their strong, sturdy little legs. “You barely remembered them,” Grandmother laughed, “and you were fearful at first. But mockingbird covered you in flowers and they kissed your cheeks so gently, you soon knew you were safe.” “Even though you had not been to the tree in some years,” Grandfather smiled, “you climbed as quick as lighting up. You too, were a climber.” Grandmother soon cleaned up the home, and prepared a meal for us. Then we began to wait. Each night we would listen for the great creak of the door. For the laughter of the the goddess. For any sign of my father. Days passed, and then months. I grew to love the tree as my family had before me but I grew tired of waiting for the door to open. I longed to know my parents but was saddened that they did not seem in any hurry to meet me. After 6 months of waiting, I knew a decision had to be made. I had to climb, up or down. Lying in the branches of the great tree, starting up into it’s endless growth I felt terrified at the prospect of reaching the top. What if I were to fall? What if I could not come back down? What if mother and father did not want me after all? I spoke quietly with Grandmother and Grandfather about it in the evenings. “We knew that this time would come,” Grandmother would say, “but we did not know which direction was best for you. Only you knew that.”
Finally, after another month of contemplation, I began to climb towards the sky. After 6 days of climbing I reached the top of the tree. The air surrounding it was pink and thin. It smelled unearthly and the the top of the tree sprung blooms of white lilies, edged at the tips with pink. All around you could see hundreds of miles in every direction. The world looked unimaginably small, far away, and fragile. Tears sprang from my eyes at the great beauty but quickly turned to sorrow when I realized there was no door. Not one. I cried out, first for father and then for mother but my words were lost in the wind. I curled into one of the lilies and there I slept for 8 days, waiting, hoping for some sign from my parents.
Mockingbird was the first to see me, and she woke my grandparents. They wept with joy, and caressed me like I was a child again. Snake and mocking bird curled around my legs and perched on my shoulder, pecking and squeezing me with love. Not long after we left the tree, bidding farewell once more. We retired to the city, to a small house, with warm white curtains. A small garden in the back where, grandmother planted purple flowers, golden bell shaped stalks, white lilies with pink edges, and in the center, a small tree with golden leaves and deep roots.
On the 9th day, I began to climb down.
PAGE 55: The internal landscape (crop detail), 2011, collage, painting and drawing PAGE 58: Autumn (crop detail) From the series of “The season of a Soul,” 2011, collage, painting and drawing RIGHT: Spring (crop detail) From the series of “The season of a Soul,” 2011, collage, painting and drawing
MARIO NAVES The 22 Magazine: Can you give me a brief history of where you grew up and how you got started as an artist and/or critic? Mario Naves: I stumbled into being an artist because I enjoyed drawing as a child, mostly cartoons in the mode of Charles Schulz and Johnny Hart, and because I lacked any sense of career direction upon entering college. Declaring myself an art major seemed the thing to do and, as it turned out, art is something I have an aptitude for. The critic gig came later. I’ve always enjoyed writing and have always loved criticism—not just art criticism, but most kinds of criticism. I’m particularly fond of poetry criticism, which is odd because I don’t read that much poetry. Back in the mid ‘90s, New Art Examiner was the only arts periodical that responded to a letter of intent; they added me on shortly thereafter as a New York correspondent. Along the way, Hilton Kramer encouraged my efforts as a critic. I’ve been writing, for one forum or another, ever since.
MN: Gathering together remnants of collage materials is the result of sweeping—of keeping a clean studio. Many of those bits-and-pieces had their own coloristic or textural interest; it would have been foolish to discard them. Given how I approach collage, they functioned as my palette. 22: In one blogger’s post he says “For Mario, collage is akin to painting,” do you find this to be true? Does collage help you regarding any struggles or roadblocks with painting? MN: A veteran art dealer told me that she was perturbed by my work because it was difficult to comprehend: “I know these are collages, but what I’m seeing are paintings.” She couldn’t brook the conundrum. However much I love my materials, however much I want them to have a certain integrity as such, I don’t want the resulting artwork to be an accumulation of mere objects. Creating a metaphorical space was, and remains, important to me.
22: While your paintings seem to be studies in and perhaps attempts in perfection, your style of collage seems in some way to be the Hyde to your Jekyll-based painter side. What does collage do for you that painting cannot, and vice versa?
22: In a review by Sharon Butler, it’s mentioned that you consider “ Indian and Persian miniatures and the 16th-century Netherlandish paintings, “touchstones” in your painting work. Can you tell me a little about what paintings have influenced you and whether these played a role in your collage as well?
MN: My paintings differ from my collages in their attention to surface and resolution, but they are, in many ways, the same in terms of process and structure. Still and all, each media has its peculiarities, not least the respective working times. The collages come quickly; the paintings less so. Collage is more convenient. That, and it lends itself more readily to a sense of metaphorical discontinuity—a kind of fractured poetry, if you will. Painting in oils allows for a more sustained and meditative focus, a quality I relish all the more the older I get.
MN: Indian and Persian miniatures and Netherlandish painting are models of precision, clarity, and condensation. In them, sensuality of form and control of means achieve a thrilling détente. And the use of scale! So much happens, pictorially as well as in terms of narrative, on so little surface area. The intimacy that is elicited from artworks not much bigger than one’s head is something I’ve always been a sucker for.
22: It’s interesting that instead of collaging with the pieces you paint, you often let them linger (sometimes even for years) before using them in a piece. What do you think this process adds to the pieces, if anything?
22: Despite the fact that this is supposed to be about your working, undoubtedly we can’t avoid the topic of your “opinion” of art and other “opinions of you” which often go hand in hand with being an art critic. Let’s start with your opinion on why it’s a daunting time to be an artist, and why
pop culture is a hinderance rather than a boom?
cessful? What is your intention when writing about art?
MN: Try holding the attention of a visually overtaxed citizen of the twenty-first century. We are inundated by images in ways that were unimaginable fifty years ago, let alone five hundred years ago. Artists have to divert, and then reward, the viewer amidst this cacophony. Good luck.
MN: My duty as a critic is, first and foremost, to the reader—to render an experience that is inherently non-verbal in terms that are clear, readable, informative and (fingers crossed) enlightening.
22: Jerry Saltz is very displeased with you. Did you kill his puppy? MN: Jerry is easy to displease. His puppy is alive and well. 22: On that note, your style of writing does sometimes venture into the realm of supposed insider knowledge and divulgence of true “motives” that could be seen sometimes as an attack. What do you believe you reveal about art or artists that others cannot? MN: Any “insider knowledge” I have as a critic keys into my experience as a working artist. I like to think that this brings a measure of understanding to my writing, helping to clarify this or that work of art for the readership. A critical review results from lousy work. An artist’s motive, true or otherwise, is relevant only to the extent it’s visible in the work. 22: Do you believe your method of criticism is the most suc-
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22: If you could combine (or dare I say collage) two or more artists together to make the perfect “super artist” who would they be and why? MN: Been there, done that: Delacroix + Ingres = Degas. Talk about a Midas touch. The man never made a bad picture. 22: You were a juror in Carolina Got’s Art! You talk about the sincerity of the submissions. Is this something you don’t necessarily see in NY art, or were you surprised to find it specifically in North Carolina? MN: Sincere art isn’t specific to North Carolina: it’s all over the place, even, yes, in New York City. Sincerity isn’t, by any means, the primary gauge of artistic quality, but there is something to be said for a healthy lack of pretension. Then again, I was in and out of Charlotte in the spate of 48 hours. North Carolinians may be the most insincere people on earth, for all I know. In the meantime, there is the glut of New York artists to deal with.
Liotards Dream (2010), acrylic paint and pasted paper top left: Oracle (2010), acrylic paint and pasted paper top right: Lapse (2010), acrylic paint and pasted paper bottom: Cower (2010), acrylic paint and pasted paper
All images courtesy Elizabeth Harris Gallery
KAREEM RIZK Title: Jet No.2 Date: 2011 Medium: Collage and oil pastel on paper
The 22 Magazine: Much of your manifesto seems to talk about art for the sake of art, and the idea of the work being the idea behind the work. Can you talk a little about your outlook on creation and what it aspires to be, as well as what it can inspire? Travis Medford: I’m not sure that it is art for the sake of art. I try not to think about the what or whys of a particular piece and allow things to happen. There is a certain poetic honesty that I aspire to with my work. I am inspired daily by other artists, designers and the piles of scraps I have on my work table.
TM: I think it’s more interesting to not give the whole story or be left with something to figure out. We always make something out of nothing. The something made of nothing is interesting to me. It’s also a challenge to make a piece with the fewest decisions possible, work fast and not think about it. Allow the piece to make itself.
22: You mention “hold dear to nothing.” Do you consider your art disposable or intangible?
22: Do you consider narratives when you create collage work?
TM: Hold dear to nothing is specific to the collaborative process rather than an overall view. Collaborating with others teaches you to let go and not become attached to certain ideas or decisions. I suppose the works are disposable to a degree. Collage by nature uses the disposed and discarded, just rearranged in a new way. On the other hand, I believe the art object is a spiritual object and has a lot to say about our subconscious, our past, our dreams. Perhaps that is why I’m drawn to collage, I like contrasts.
TM: Not during the process, but after it’s finished I may see a narative when searching for a title. Titles tend to solidify the idea in a tangible way. If figures are used, I tend to see narratives and title the pieces as such.
22: One of your most interesting lines, is “there are three of us in two,” what did you mean by this? TM: The third other, the thing that happens in collage when 2 or more elements are arranged to form a third thing, something new that exists on its own.
22: Many of your collage pieces are as much about the lack of something, as about the “something” in a collage. What appeals to you about the “less is more” approach?
22: You do a-lot of collaboration in your work, what about collage works well with others? TM: Collaboration helps you to become less attached with your own ideas and decisions. It takes you out of your head and allows you to have a visual communication with your collaborator. It’s kind of like a new language or way to connect with someone without speaking. Collage is fast and cheap, it’s very immediate and reactionary, you can express yourself very quickly and often.
PAGE 65: Fairy Boots, 2013, cut and paste collage PAGE 67, TOP: Top Dollar, 2013, cut and paste collage PAGE 67, BOTTOM: Cutting Spaces, 2013, cut and paste collage
SHAPE MUSIC: ON LOUISE NEVELSON Somewhere in the city of New York there are four or five still unknown objects. . . Once together they’ll create a work of art.
- Charles Simic on Joseph Cornell
Now people might say, oh, aren’t you selfish? Well, I don’t know what they mean.
- Louise Nevelson
FITTING My daughter and I take two small planes out East. There is much repacking of bags so that compartment doors close and backpacks fit under seats. We expose our books and underwear, stuff bathing suits into shoes. We close and open and push and pull, and treasured possessions are not. My daughter frowns while I smile, which she finds maddening and so on, until all is stowed but our faces: two opposite masks.
SHADOWS AND FLAGS, 1978 The vision was of morning coffee on a bench in Louise Nevelson Plaza, bright sun and her name felt in each of the three sharp corners, but Shadows and Flags is a torn-up mess, shooting black points above a triangle of turned earth, cranes and orange plastic fence. So I squint out at the furl of L.N.â€™s black flag framed by a Budweiser sign and rotating spit of small chickens. Even up close, the black, planned sharpness of her sculpture does not move me, not like the dense, clumsy earth lugged and dropped by the crane, the soft people moving between hard buildings, squares and circles creating the city.
PROBABLY WITHOUT A JACKET What I love about L.N.: the way she used scraps, discards, negatives. Unused bits of wood from one project become integral to the next. What she found around the corner, what was abandoned. Meanwhile, her son sat on the stoop during a party, locked out and found by the police. He wasnâ€™t a man who could give her anything, sex or jewelry or money or food, just a boy she had made herself. Is it possible to create from a place of consistency, where what is lived is what is written is what is lived. Question mark.
23 SPRING STREET L.N.’s second home was torn down for a gift shop and orthodontist, so I cross the street and pretend she lived in a bluedoored brownstone. The gallery down the block is empty, walls flat with pop culture and harsh attempts, and I feel how art strikes or doesn’t, is as visceral and irrational as love. Desire to know so strong that every breath becomes a question, and the asking stops only when life stops. PERSONALE Even during my three days alone, I am with my daughter in thoughts, worries, texts. I try to provide her with attachment, with structure, making up for the lost years. I channel the ones who stayed over the course of decades, through creative silence – Grace, Muriel, Tillie, Kathe. The life in the child is no opposite to the life in art: they demand the same force and breath. This is the gift, the bind. DAY GRID In lower Manhattan a black iron grate makes strict, predictable gridwork of a patch of the underground city – box of scattered receipts, wrappers and cigarettes swimming in water, spit, wet cube of air, trash and fluid flowing beneath the earth. Chaos framed by a measured, orderly system.
CHAPEL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, 1977 First jazz then organ, variations but always music from the sanctuary next door, and an echoing voice: I’m doing the
garbanzos with a basil dressing. I lay down my notebook on a wooden pew. The chapel-sculpture drenches me in white instead of black but the feeling is just as complete: a totality. Sun breaks on the altar, busts it. Faultlines of light fill the room, and I hold my breath to watch them fissure and grow. L.N. went from recognizable objects to plywood scrap – simpler, less tooled pieces – and deliberate shapes, less haunted, but deeply intentional in their relation to each other, taken apart and put together in a historied way. Most moving are not the fine circles but the scrap wood they were cut from, lining the walls like fragile bone. The chapel is not spirit but its diagram, belief not in the harvest but the shape of wheat. PLACEMENTS My daughter was fine without me, though she slept in late and ate less fruit. I require that we embrace; then she is back to physically absorbing her grandparents’ cable TV. I take the hot attic room and write when not helping my mother sort fuzzed Christmas ornaments, depleted Lego sets, worn afghans – my old forts – and splintered picture frames. We choose what to
keep and what to release, even the Depression glass sweating. SELF-DEFINED Long after we return to the Midwest, a man whose head was wrapped with twine peers into café window. I recreate my viewpoint from inside the box, taste lemon curd, and view the city’s arrangement like L. N.’s white wood in the chapel: squares and circles overlapping, a planned human chaos. He fixes the hang of his shirt and the set of his headscarf not in the glass, but in the building’s shining granite, rearranging and putting his pieces together. He is resourceful in making beauty, like a sculptor or a daughter, and I watch him break clean from the surface, shouldering everything he owns.
Epigraphs: Charles Simic. Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell. New York: New York Review Books, 1992, p. 14. Louise Nevelson with Diana McKown. Dawns and Dusks.New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976, p. 3. Images: Page 68-69: Doug Stapleton, He Wouldn’t Say Anything More. 2012, Collage on paper Page 71: Craig van den Bosch, Contemplating Monumental notions of family, birth and gender expectations, she tightened her bootstrap laces., 2013, Mixed Media Collage Page 74: Craig van den Bosch, Body transparent, transformation fostered molecular awareness, profound power and an understanding of infinite infinity, 2013, Mixed Media Collage
BILLZINDEL I N T E R V I E W B Y E VA R I C H T E R Eva Richter: Would you talk about your development as an artist over the long term? Bill Zindel: I studied printmaking and illustration, then spent some time painting before getting fully into collage. My earlier art was pretty spontaneous and wild. There was a lot of splashing paint around. It’s been getting more refined. Doing design work has something to do with that. I wasn’t always doing both. Collage gives me a way to be both structured and unrestrained.
I’ll scan elements and assemble them in the computer, because then it’s easier to make changes later. Having some physical limitations is good when making a collage, it helps focus it. With a computer there are endless opportunities to change and revise colors, sizes, etc. It can be overwhelming. ER: I’m very interested in your geometric collages, featuring globes and other geometric shapes floating above tiny pedestals or held in disembodied hands. Would you talk about how that series came about?
ER: What originally drew you to collage? BZ: I remember making collages when I was very young, I’m not sure why. There’s an element of chance and random discovery to collage. That can sometimes take a picture to a place it might not go if it were more consciously thought out. ER: Did outsider art have any influence on your work? BZ: I went to art school, so I’m the opposite of that, but I always loved that stuff. You can see in it the importance of trusting your instincts and using limitations as advantages.
BZ: I wanted to have a structure to play with small bits of color and pattern. You notice the central shape first, and then all the little details within it. ER: Most of your source images are from the ’50s and ’60s. What attracts you to imagery from these decades? BZ: A lot of it is just about the way the materials look, the age of the paper, the colors, the patina. But I also have a certain nostalgia for the ’60s and ’70s – I have an older sister who turned me on to all that music and art. ER: What is the role of nostalgia in your work?
ER: You quit your job at a San Francisco design agency four years ago to focus more on your art. How did that decision happen?
BZ: I don’t know, but I drive a ’72 Pinto station wagon with an 8-track player.
BZ: Things happened that reminded me how short life is. ER: Do you work digitally or by hand? What are the benefits and limitations of that?
ER: Is there a difference between work that is nostalgic for the ’60s and ’70s and work that fetishizes the ’60s and ’70s?
BZ: I prefer working by hand, but for commercial work
BZ: Yes. I have a fondness for vintage music, cars, ste-
Pa g e Pa g e Pa g e Pa g e
76: 78, 78, 78,
Hi-Fi Dream, 2011, collage Top Left: Cooler, 2011, collage Bottom Left: DOME, 2012, collage B o t t o m R I G H T: 4 5 L o r d , 2 0 1 1 , c o l l a g e
reos, etc., so those kinds of images sometimes show up in my collages, but I don’t want the work itself to look “retro.” Style-wise I’m more influenced by contemporary artists than I am looking to the past. ER: You do sculptural collage as well. How is that process different for you from 2d collage? BZ: That happened when I did a show with my friend Reuben Rude. We did a large collaborative sculpture that was like a shelf to put smaller pieces on. I made collages inside little bottles. I don’t think the process was much different really. ER: Did the artist Kurt Schwitters have an impact on your work? BZ: My parents gave me a book about him when I was a teenager. I loved it, he had such a range, some pieces are really dense and some are stark and minimal. And he did graphic design, sculpture, poetry. I saw a Schwitters show at the Berkeley museum a couple years ago and it still blew me away. They recreated the Merzbau installation from his home—it was amazing, like walking right into a collage. ER: What is the hardest challenge for you being an artist? BZ: It seems like most artists love being alone in their studios, but I get antsy—I can’t be alone all the time. ER: You’re also a DJ who likes easy listening, country music and ’70s funk, right? Would you talk a little about your taste in music and how it relates to your art?
BZ: I like all kinds of music, and I’ve always been fascinated by the visual side of it, from album covers to the graphics on labels and all that. I started collecting 45’s mostly because I loved the designs on the factory sleeves. Collecting records, selecting them and playing them, is not that different from collecting collage materials and making something with them. ER: What do you listen to when you collage? BZ: When I’m by myself in the studio I lean toward heavy psych/stoner stuff like Sleep, Carlton Melton, Psychic Ills, Earth, Om, Spacemen 3, Witchcraft, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, etc. But I listen to lots of other music too. Recently I’ve been enjoying Sensations’ Fix, Alan Vega, Date Palms, Terry Callier, Devo, Jackson C. Frank, Thin Lizzy, Goat, Alice Coltrane, John Phillips. When I get tired of choosing records I like to listen to a great online radio station called Beyond the Beat Generation. It’s all Nuggets-y ’60s garage rock—The Seeds, Troggs, Love, Count Five. ER: You opened a vinyl record store in Oakland last year. What motivated you to open the store and how has the experience been so far? BZ: I always thought it would be a fun thing to do, then I met a couple of interesting, like-minded people and we went for it. It’s been great meeting all kinds of people who love, collect and play music. It’s also been fun shaping the look and aesthetic of the store. ER: What do you think is the function of art in modern society?
CHARLES WILKIN INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: I understand you were born in Buffalo, New York and earned your BFA from The Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Can you tell us a bit about growing up and studying art in college?
Charles Wilkins: I grew up in a rural suburb of Buffalo called Grand Island, which is a large pork chop shaped island in the Niagara River sandwiched between New York State and Canada. It was a great place to live with all its open fields, bridges, beaches and small town attitude. At the same time I was only an hour from Toronto, Canada, I spent many summers road tripping with friends to see metal shows and starting crazy hotel parties. Anyway, I knew I wanted to be an artist from a very early age and my parents recognized that, they were always supportive of my creative endeavors and gave me lots of freedom. After high school I really wanted to move to New York to study art but decided on CCAD in Columbus, Ohio because of a scholarship. I had a great experience there and Ohio is an easy and cheap place to live, which really helped me continue my exploration of art and creativity. I fell into collage my sophomore year by accident when I showed up late to a drawing class without paper and pencils, I had just come from a photo class and only had a stack of poorly printed photos. My instructor who was a total free spirit suggested I use those prints and make a collage instead. My photo prints were terrible and I probably would have thrown them out anyway so it seemed like a good idea not to waste the paper. I had no idea what I was doing but by the end of class she suggested I not bring pencils to class for the remainder of the semester and continue making collages. I honestly don’t recall what that collage looked like, prob-
ably something figurative but I do remember it feeling very natural, which was great because I found figure drawing really tedious.
EP: Your website features both paper and digital collage— with more of the former. Did you get involved in digital collage later in your career? CW: I started experimenting with digital collage around ’93, at first I’d create a something by hand and then edit or embellish it digitally. Then around ‘96 I started creating more all-digital work for commercial design and illustration projects simply because it’s easier and quicker when you have ridiculous deadlines. Over the last few years I’ve developed a couple bodies of personal work that were purely digital although I haven’t really done much of that recently. I can certainly understand the debate of hand vs. digital, both have intrinsic qualities and advantages but honestly my approach to collage and assembly is basically the same regardless of weather it’s paper or digital. When I develop ideas I try and not limit my options in terms of medium, I prefer to select the one that best suits my intentions and makes the most sense conceptually. I often find when I’m working digitally I’m looking to create something ornate and visually complex, which are things I find too time consuming to achieve with paper. I usually have specific imagery I’m looking for and tend to use stock and Wiki images as a resource instead of old magazines for my digital projects. Paper collage for me is definitely a different state of mind, it’s all about living in the moment and using what you have on hand. EP: Your paper works often rely, as well, on faces—either
of famous people or non-famous people—which become disfigured, spliced together, or otherwise transformed. What is the significance of these defacements for you and what role do they play in your work? CW: Hands, faces, eyes and bodies are saturated with meaning, provoking instinctual responses simply because it’s what makes us human. Defacing and disfigurement as a concept is honestly something I’m not interested in, I see it more as a means to get past the familiarity of these elements. Which is why my intent with many of the works you mentioned was instead to control their emotional impact by either exaggerating or redefining the context in which they are presented. One of the great things about collage is its uninhibited ability to alter reality through editing and layering. “The Lost Are Found” is a perfect example of how these selective techniques can intertwine and reconfigure meaning. I think what happens a lot with things like displaced eyes, hands and heads is we all get hung up on what they are and how disturbing it can be sometimes seeing them floating around in space but in reality it’s true meaning can often be found in what’s not there. EP: Would you say that your work, specifically your digital collage, functions through symbols? CW: It’s true, I’ve always used some type of symbolism and perhaps even more so in my recent paper collage work, but it’s usually more subtle and subjective. However at the time I developed the initial sketch for “In Circles” in 2009 I had become fascinated the patterns of imagery, behavior and story telling that seemed constant throughout history. After a while I started noticing that skulls, crows and death as both symbols and themes could be found in everything, becoming unbearably hard not to notice at times. Which is perhaps why the symbolism in the 12 digital works that followed “In Circles” in 2010-11 is much more pronounced and repetitive than any of my other work. I often felt like there was a symbolic pink elephant just starting at me, when actually it was a hungry wiener dog. EP: You describe your work as being “a product of its environment,” removed from “the expectations of reality and aesthetic.” Could you discuss this a bit? My work has always been a cultural consensus of sorts, derived from everything, filtered and then reassembled into what I believe is an analogous form of reality. It’s also the nature of collage and where I draw inspiration from, I spend a lot of time sifting through the things people throw away, looking for relics and forgotten memories. I analyze
head lines, take visual notes of things that seem out of place and love listening to idle conversations about absolutely nothing. Human behavior is a fickle and fascinating endeavor that offers infinite possibilities creatively if you’re willing to let go of expectation. There are no rules in collage other than instinct as far as I’m concerned, so any preconceived ideas about what a collage should be or represent just doesn’t exist from my perspective. I think it’s impossible to say one approach to collage is more important or meaningful than another because collage for me is about living in the moment I make them. They are always a response to something I’ve seen or heard and I try very hard not to let superficial things like style get in the way or muddle the process. EP: How do you think your work is perceived? Considering its emphasis on questioning our environment, how do you think or intend a typical viewer to relate to it on a personal level? CW: Asking questions is certainly part of my work but honestly I never really worry about how it’s perceived in the bigger picture. I only say that because people are always going have an opinion or project feelings onto it that may or may not be what I intended. Instead, I prefer to leave any conclusions about my work up to the viewer because often times I’m not sure I have the answer. I used to spend a lot of time obsessing over the message and it’s perception, only to be disappointed with the results. So I’ve learned to focus more on what and how people respond to specific ideas or topics. People can be arbitrary and art unpredictable and in the end I just do what feels right for me first and then take notes of what seems to connect, which often leads to unexpected answers and new questions. EP: You mention finding “clarity and relief” solely in the process of making your artwork. Can you talk about this feeling? CW: Art making can sometimes be a struggle and at times I find myself overloaded with ideas that I either just don’t have time to explore or the means to produce, like sculpture. I’m also a sucker for tragedy and since my work pulls inspiration from current events I often find myself saying “wow, that shit is fucked up.” No matter how hard you try not to internalize these things it does wear me down sometimes. There can also be a lot of failure especially given the spontaneous nature of my process and even more so when I’m trying to explore new directions. But it’s not all doom and gloom over here and when the stars align I often find myself doing a hamster happy dance followed by an
incredible sense of euphoria, joy and relief. It’s as if some burden has been lifted off my shoulders, which is definitely a weird feeling because many of those problems were never mine in the first place. Sometimes I wish I could just paint kittens but I’d probably end up making them cry and I don’t think those blissful moments of creative success would be as rewarding without the struggle pushing me forward. It’s these fleeting moments that truly motivate me to keep going and, well, probably that one time I was a dishwasher. That job really sucked.
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HERNAN PAGANINI Interview by Eva Richter (translated from Spanish by Teresa Eilers) The 22 Magazine: I read that as a child, you collected objects you randomly found on the street, and later used those objects as inspiration for your work. Could you elaborate on that? What were some of the objects? Hernán Paganini: The things that we collect are more than tangible objects. For me, they are life experiences; the people that come across our paths are as important as the rock that you keep within an old tin of mint pills. I sincerely believe that everything I have experienced, seen, and experimented with in some form or another, either directly or indirectly, has transformed my center, and from there a great part of my humanity connects with everything that is, and this is how I consequently know how to be me. Every transmutation is a new awakening; the universe is abundant just like we are—only at times we uselessly distract ourselves with the superficial images of things when [in reality what is] most precious is waiting for us in the profundities. 22: How would you describe your collages? HP: Free, without a reason to be. The same paths upon the present, future full of possibilities and dreams. 22: Did you have any other childhood experiences that contributed to your desire to become an artist? HP: My search never was to turn myself into an artist, likewise I don’t think much of this term. Perhaps it has or has not always been this way—the truth is not a topic I question so much. I believe it is more genuine and important to try to bring the best version of myself that I can bring to this plane. I try to redefine my art and my life, expanding the human and sensory limits of my very existence. 22: How did you get started making collages? HP: I think that, like everyone, at some point during my vast and abundant childhood a few pieces of paper arrived within my hands. When I was older, I started this technique of cutting paintings or drawing that I had done and turning them into new compositions. Similarly, each time I start a new collage, I try to re-purpose a variable within the methodology or material that I used—this way the result is never expected. I am always eager to surprise myself with the development produced by the work of art.
22: How does living in Buenos Aires affect your work? HP: I have lived in a big city for eleven years and I live today in this environment. The city gives me things that I could not have in any other place and I am in direct contact with what is happening. On the other hand, it contaminates me with a lot of things that are unwanted and unpleasant. One can not be unaware of the context in which one lives, although this should not limit our possibility of being. I make a point of traveling nearby and far away to breathe. As a result of these escapes there is always some action or effect. My contact with nature began when I was a child, during visits to my grandparents’ home in the countryside. Similarly, a year ago I moved to the outskirts of the heart of the city of Buenos Aires. This decision to live in a more peaceful place has been fundamental to my evolution as a human and as an artist. 22: You teach morphology at the Public University of Buenos Aires. Is there a relation between your interest in morphology and your art? HP: Yes, I administered classes on the subject of morphology within the Department of Graphic Design at the Public University of Buenos Aires for eight years. I believe that the relationships within this discipline have been fundamental to almost all of my work in all of its multiple vertices and supports, from installation, painting, and collage, to other works that are generally nourished from the same root: the exploration of color and form in its multiple variables and applications. 22: What are your thoughts on contemporary art and contemporary trends in art? HP: I like the openness that has been in this discipline for the past few years. Actually everything is possible and the marked and pragmatic limits that used to exist a few years ago do not exist anymore. I feel like we are living in a rupture of an important paradigm in contemporary humanity. Even though I believe that the afterlife of the peak or temporary style are fundamental, one needs to respect the immense value of art to our civilizations, present and future. We need to learn from this like it is a tool fundamental to existence, and not only place the value of aesthetics or recognition on it. 22: Have you been influenced by outsider art or other Argentinian artists to any extent? In what ways?
HP: I have no preference for a medium in particular. The resources I utilize are connected directly with the context that I live in. The dialogues I propose are in contact with my state of mind, as well as sensations and situations— both external and internal—that affect me and drive me in the moment of developing a piece. My process usually functions as a natural movement that unchains and materializes depending on what is at reach. It does not matter if it is the streak of a pencil on a sheet of paper, a bag full of branches I gathered outdoors, a series of photographs of trees dancing with the wind, or the capture of a moment on video. The slightest discovery can be the spark to walk down a new path. To my understanding, all mediums are passable. I have learned from experience that one can obtain unknown results when exposing oneself to a situation in which it cannot be foreseen where it will lead. Uncomfortable positions are the most interesting and enriching to explore because they take you to a completely new place and force you to act in a distinct way. It is the use of improvisation as a resource. We must be open to constant exploration and understand that the processes don’t always result in a kind way. We must be conscious of the changes and take them as part of the development of maturation. 22: What are some of your “rituals” when making art? HP: I am very bad at remembering names of artists and relating them to their actual work. I am interested and inspired by the images, in all their forms, as information. My inspiration mostly comes from daily life and the things that happen around me. Similarly I also like to nourish myself from situations and experiences that come from different environments and contexts. I am more interested in the processes than the actual closed pieces of work. 22: You work in many different media, from photography to wood to graphic design. Do you find that you express different sides of yourself in each medium, or do you communicate similar themes and concerns regardless of the medium?
HP: I don’t have rituals or anything similar. It is always a good moment to work. I live in my work—my work, myself, and everything. 22: What kind of response do you hope your work elicits from viewers? HP: I don’t have a utopian expectation at all. If I am offering it is because I received.
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â€˜Tis of Thee
BY HOWIE GOOD: EXERCISE # Collage by Zach Collins/Jason Kearny
(the Land of Lincoln, too) people look for work. Easier to hem foam. Because this here is America, twenty messes allowed. Fuels fart power, disappear. Oh, let in a lion and what it recites.
TROY DUGAS The 22 Magazine: Tell me a little about your journey from Louisiana to New York. How did it happen and what changed for you in any significant way? Why did you finally choose Louisiana and what makes it a special place to make art these days? Troy Dugas: I moved to New York in 1995 to attend graduate school at Pratt. The way of life here is completely different from living in New York, so pretty much everything changed. Not only day to day living but the extraordinary opportunities to learn, see, and experience new things. The idea of anonymity was new to me, and there was something quite freeing and humbling about it. Louisiana is home and I feel that my work really didn’t “take root” until I moved back. These days, I’m really happy with the relationships I’ve built with the galleries that are located about equal distance on either side of Lafayette in Houston and New Orleans. 22: You’ve worked for years as designer in fashion and TV. Can you tell us about some of the places you’ve worked and how those experiences may or may not have contributed to you art? TD: Those years were filled with tremendous learning and growth. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunities considering I really had no idea what I was doing and never thought of myself as a designer. I worked as a freelance designer for a company that made clothing for Macy’s in store brand. The designer I worked for designed boy’s clothing, so it was pretty fun to design graphic t-shirts or prints for pajamas and bathing suits. I had to learn how to draw with rulers and pens to make the architectural kind of drawings they used for presentations. This was right before the company started using computers so it was all done by hand. I started incorporating that kind of drawing into my studio practice, and even made little cut out collages from saltine product boxes in the shape of shirts. So yes, it was contributing to my work for better or worse. I really started to hate it after about 3 years. One of my friends from Pratt was working up the street at Nickelodeon, and she invited me to have lunch at the cafeteria for Viacom employees. She mentioned there was a job opening so I interviewed and tested for a position as a digital designer for a children’s
show called Blues Clues. I had no experience in television and my computer skills were not up to speed, so I didn’t think I had a chance. There was a similarity in the way I was manipulating materials like clay, felt, and paper in my studio that may have translated into the way things were made on the show. Whatever it was, I was given the position, and I worked my ass off to achieve the skill level needed for the job. I learned so much from the people there, became a Photoshop ninja, and eventually a Lead Designer for the show. During that time I continued making collages using product packaging, drawing, cutting up things, and making experimental animations with the knowledge I gained from working at Nickelodeon Digital Studios. 22: You talk about being inspired by your grandmother’s crafts. So many pieces look directly inspired by quilt patterns. Did these play a role in your work? Is there any pattern you specifically connect with? TD: I do love quilts but inspiration comes from many places, and for the most part my pieces are a synthesis resulting in new shapes and forms. My grandmother had an uncanny way of manipulating materials like gum wrappers into chalices, milk cartons into hats, and Coke cans into chairs. It’s this transformative act, the activity of busy hands, and the power to communicate through making that I think about. 22: Tell me a little about your mugshot series, what that was inspired by and whether your feel it was successful? TD: I did a 2’ x 2’ portrait about 4 years ago with the labels while working on the large abstract pieces and had been wanting to develop the idea ever since. It was both exciting and embarrassing. I struggled with what it was, who it was, it’s over stylization, it’s form, it’s meaning, it’s awkwardness, is it from the imagination, from observation, from history and on and on until finally attempting to make a significant series. I love the ancient Fayum burial portraits found in Egypt which have a strong Roman influence and are hauntingly beautiful. I referenced it with images from arrest reports and amateur porn sites and made lots of drawings trying to partially observe, combine, and draw from my imagination. I ended up with 6 final pieces that I truly enjoyed making. I don’t think I pushed it enough or
completely gave myself over to it. I made this wacky drawing of Anderson Cooper and was going to make a portrait out of silver foil Miller High Life labels, but I chickened out. 22: What are some of your favorite products or labels you’ve come across? Any good stories about how you acquired any labels? TD: I have a collection of old French liquor labels with beautiful colors, metallic inks, delicate illustrations that are kind of a shame to cut up. On the opposite end there are some fun pop, retro green bean labels I love. There is a local bread company just blocks from where I live called Evangeline Maid that is a part of everyone’s history and psyche in this area. One day I found a huge 50lb roll of old bread wrappers uncut in perfect condition on my front porch. A man who saw one of my pieces made from Miller High Life labels in an exhibit found it in a dumpster and thought I should have it! 22: It’s been mentioned that you don’t use contemporary product labels, is this true? Are all your labels vintage? TD: Most of my collection is made up of vintage labels, but I actually have made quite a few pieces with current labels like Alexander Keiths, Taaka Vodka, Herbsaint, Starkist Tuna and other contemporary but maybe lesser known products. 22: In your bio you say “The immediacy of the graphic label is replaced by contemplation.” This statement really turns the idea of branding and advertising on it’s head. What compels you about the idea of incorporating an aesthetic, meditative view into an opposite realm? How do you intend to affect your audience as consumers and as viewers? TD: The label has to appeal to a customer within seconds, and the colors, images, and type have to work together to convince the consumer to buy. I’m just slowing down and taking those things apart and organizing them in a new way. Those essential elements become my pallet. I guess there is a mischievous pleasure in what I do, but I don’t have any secret mission to undo the history of branding, design, or advertising. I like when viewers become aware of what the material is and it gives them this moment of realization. 22: In regards to the idea that you deconstruct consumer products only to create consumer products you say, “That
either makes me a snake or a genius. I don’t think I am either. There is something very satisfying about going full circle.” What to you is appealing about a “full circle?” TD: I like the idea that something can take a new form instead of becoming forgotten or wasted. It takes on a kind of spirituality, and that idea is counter consumerism. 22: Do you avoid the symbolism of a Mandala in your work? Is the main goal design; purely a visual experience? TD: I can’t really avoid it, but I don’t have any strong attachment to it in terms of the origin or religious significance. I’ve always referred to the pieces as radial forms as they are a vehicle to create the work. A place to put the pieces. I avoid the word mandala because it seems overused, and makes me think of high school art projects. In it’s over use I do think, as the article states, that it is becoming insignificant. I don’t think the main goal is to design but to transform. Despite my denial about being a designer, it always comes back to haunt me. Sometimes I try to get away from it and sometimes I embrace it. 22: A review of your work states, “In Dugas’ collages, so much good taste, so fastidiously presented within the form of a largely evacuated signifier, somewhat calls into question what this work conveys aside from good design. There’s a temptation to compare Dugas to Fred Tomaselli, another current artist deeply invested in the use of hypnotic patterning. But the psychedelic and drug connotations of Tomaselli’s work squarely place it into a distinct realm of signification. Dugas seems to be making work-gorgeous work-that avoids it.” Do you agree with this statement? Does your work avoid or transcend? TD: I think the history of the work conveys an interesting story, and I’m not out to make any radical statements or convince anyone of anything. I would like to think the work transcends through the process, execution, presentation, and finally to the viewer who will get it or not. 22: What have been some of the most difficult things you’ve overcome with your art? Are there any pieces of series that you have struggled with? On the opposite spectrum, what do you feel has been your greatest achievement or most successful piece? TD: I keep trying to outdo myself and sometimes that leads to stagnation. It’s something I’m constantly having to overcome.The pieces I’ve struggled with the most are also my greatest achievements. Radial Forms Four #1 (2010), Radi-
al Forms Four #2 (2011), and Radial Forms Four #3 (2012) are very large pieces that incorporate four radial forms within the same piece. They are incredibly time consuming and difficult to resolve, but so satisfying when they are done.
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JUSTIN ANGELOS INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: How did you become interested in collage? Did you study art in school? JUSTIN ANGELOS: I’ve always been interested in taking one thing and making it into something new. Collage lends itself perfectly to this aesthetic. I took art class in Junior College and I studied graphic arts in advertising school in the 90’s. EP: Do you make any other kinds of art? Do you feel that collage offers something that other art forms can’t or don’t? JA: I do use found objects in some of my work but my main concentration in the past few years has been collage. I also draw and paint. Collage offers a sort of aged or nostalgic feel to my work that I think is harder to achieve through other mediums. EP: You’ve had a unique history, transitioning from working in the tradeshow industry and “life on the road” to being a stay-at-home dad and artist. Can you tell us about this transition? JA: I had my own business for 10 years prior to my current gig as “stay at home dad.” While I was self-employed I always had the extra time to be creative. I dabbled in street art during that period and also did a lot more found object work. In my travels I would do my street stuff as well as collect junk in all the cities I would visit. The trade show industry is an interesting world, working on the install and dismantle side of the business there are times when you have to use your limited resources to get the booths ready to show. Often you are under pressure to “make it work” to get the job done on time and you may not always have the right materials. I pride myself as someone who can use the supplies in front of me to get the job done.I still apply this in my art practices. EP: The combination of faded color schemes and vintage imagery along with a distinctly urban feel is striking in your work and distinguishes it from other collage that’s out there. Can you speak to this effect? Is it something you consciously strive for in your work? JA: I love the contrast that’s created when the vintage stuff and the colored stuff is combined just right. The
urban feel definitely comes from my love of street art and my years on the road walking the streets of the cities I worked in. When I started to really focus on collage I saw what a lot of people were doing and thought that the art of collage could be so much more. I wanted my stuff to stand out from the crowd and to build a real signature with my work. When I look at other peoples work and it looks just like the next artist stuff some times it bums me out. EP: A lot of your art seems to make use of spontaneous, graphical explosions of colors and shapes imposed upon original images. How do these original images function in your art, what prompts you to use them, or how do they inspire you? JA: Again the idea of turning one thing into something new comes into play. I like the oddity of it and the explosions, spikes, floating balls and shapes of pattern and color give off the idea of movement and dimension.Taking a common thing like the vintage eye chart and creating one of my spiky floating 3d masses just seemed like a fun idea. The explosive quality is meant to give the mass it’s own orbit of sorts. With the addition of halftone and marker shadows to hopeful play with the viewers eyes. And again with the black and white iconic image of Tony Larussa and the spikes growing out his head gives the piece a strange and hopefully some what mysterious feel. I like the questions the individual viewer may ask while looking at my work.Why does this guy have all these spikes growing out of his head? I hope to draw people in with these strange contrasts. EP: Many of the original images you use, such as those in butterscotchsunday and coders, are literally defaced— with faces covered up, displaced, or replaced. Can you talk a bit about that technique and why you use it? JA: Figures without faces cause you the viewer to question and look for a deeper meaning.Who, why, what? The viewer engages because of this mystery. Defacing changes the figure. It takes away the identity and maybe causes the viewer to have to mentally fill in the blanks. EP: How do you collage? What materials do you use, what steps do you take? JA: 95% of my cutting is done with scissors. A variety of different size paper punches and of course exacto when needed. My glue of choice is Super77 spray glue and that comes from my years in the silkscreen industry and
hours spent at my moms florist shop growing up. I coat my work with Golden Polymer Medium as well as Envirotex depending on the piece. I’m not stuck in one era as far as source material goes because a lot of time I’m looking for color, line, pattern or where two colors meet or perhaps even where light and shadow are presented. I am definitely drawn to vintage black and white magazines for a lot of my figure based stuff. When I’m starting a piece I’ll dig through my files of images and magazines until something catches my eye and the idea takes shape. Often I will get a snapshot in my head of a general shape or composition. I may cut paper for days before I even lay anything down. Collect, cut, glue repeat!
old magazines, the hand made aspect in a pre-computer layout world. Collage definitely opens a unique door to contemporary culture.The act of cutting and pasting of magazines and other print media in itself pays tribute to the times we live in.We live in a remixed, sampled, redone, upgraded, reconstructed, botoxed, monitored, and plugged in world.
EP: You mention on your website that your palette is often made up of “discarded objects”—is that literally true?
JA: The viewers I’ve been in contact with can see that I’m presenting something original and that I’ve definitely got my own signature. I think most people can see the time I put into the work.
JA: It is. Magazines, newspaper, old wood. I love it all. Something that had a prior life as something else. Vacant lots, abandoned houses, estate sales and thrift stores are my favorite places to find materials. EP: You’ve described human debris, today’s “disposable society,” and celebrity idol-worship, along with basic human themes of life, death, and rebirth, as prominent themes in your work. Can you talk about how these themes work together or against each other in your collages? JA: I think in a way I’ve created my own working language and the images that interest me work with the themes I’m exploring. Even the materials at times are a comment on print media and its dwindling industry with the move to a digital format. I’m also interested in the artistry in
EP: You’ve shown your work internationally as well as stateside, with many shows in your home state of California. Is there a particular context—global location, physical setting—in which you feel is ideal for presenting/ receiving your work?
EP: How do you think your use of original images, and the commutative attitude of some of your work, such as halfass and profit, affect its perception? JA: I want my work to be engaging and I think the humorous aspect of certain pieces is fun for me as the creator knowing that the viewer may connect with that detail. EP: Do you feel that collage culture—if it exists —is more youth-centric or of an older generation? JA: I think it’s an all ages thing. I ran a collage club for kindergarteners last year and they loved it. The act itself is timeless. Hopefully there will always be old magazines waiting to be cut into.
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PULCHRITUDE EXERCISE #1:JULIE GARD Do I spout forth or suck in knowledge? Jazz at the butter churn, lotto in the wheat fields, all the noise not a life in the country is somehow my double existence. What sport could this be, of what god or devil, to cacophanise the days of a country matron? Notes and numbers smack under my bonnet, and the pastoral calm of roses - my tended front yard - belies the internal volume of the tender. I trace the change to the dream I had of Chicago, but Chicago doesn’t exist yet, only Pilgrims on their tough, windy bite of eastern coast. Most letters sink at sea and just the odd one makes it back, so we hear from those who read. I don’t dream of owning a mirror except for this one made from my mind, of its tissues and spit, so that the body lives in the draping calm of another predictable day, beginning with porridge, and the mind belongs to jazzmen and lipstick and suddenly, confusingly, running shoes. Buttons covered with cloth. A trumpeted rainbow. Splashes of stain. All the marking and crossing that can hex me but not prevent me from making a oneworld of my life. This is not the past, so it must be the future, and I have no choice but to glean from it, to grind wheat and slide hip, to follow the Lord’s path and the path of the jazzman, this able seduction, this covered button, this mechanized bee, this lightning path, winning nullity, composite signage, forever’s rag and girth.
RAFAEL DUARTE Face to Flowers, 2012
INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: I understand you were born and went to college in New York. What was growing up like for you? MATTHEW CUSICK: When I look back, I feel fortunate to have grown up in NYC during the 70’s and 80’s. There was so much happening there. As a kid and a young adult it really rubbed off on me and I will always feel like a New Yorker. One of the best things about NYC is that it attracts people from all over the world. It is a destination, almost a rite of passage for most people—a place to test their ambitions and to experience all kinds of things. This is the reason I met my wife, who is from Texas but had moved to NYC to pursue being a composer. In 2007 I left NYC and moved to my wife’s hometown near Denton, Texas. We had our daughter a year later and soon after that bought a house in Oak Cliff, Dallas. Now, when I visit NYC, which I do quite often, I am overcome by nostalgia and childhood memories. I want my daughter to spend as much time there as she can, even though she is a Texan at heart. I want her to experience those things that make NYC so special. EP: When and how did you get involved in art, and in collage specifically? MC: Like most children, I began making art on my own at an early age. During elementary school I attended art classes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I quickly grew to love art and by the time high school came around was advanced enough to get into the High School of Music and Art (what is now called LaGuardia High School for the Arts). During high school I also began studying at the Art Students League, which really helped improve my drawing and painting skills. One of the many ways I supported myself as a teenager besides working at a gas station and a pizzeria, was by painting album covers on the back of denim and leather jackets and designing logos and posters for local bands. Collage, or using paper, scissors, and glue to make a work of art, was something I remember doing as a child and then again as a student at the Cooper Union. The color theory class at Cooper involved working with collage quite extensively and was hands down the most enlightening class I have ever taken. It was taught by a very elderly professor who had studied with Joseph Albers at the Bauhaus school. My college experience at Cooper Union was not at all fun. It was incredibly demanding, hypercritical, and extremely difficult. But when I graduated I literally felt like Neo did in the Matrix after he swallows the pill Orpheus gives him. I could see art with such clarity and understanding and all of a sudden had so much self-motivation to be an artist. I immediately got a studio (in Dumbo) and started
painting. I was pushing the limitations of what paint could do and incorporating techniques of photography, film, sculpture, and theory, all things that I had experimented a great deal with at Cooper. My work quickly evolved into a type of painting that relied a great deal on stenciling, found images, and collage. I began using the X-acto knife more than the paintbrush. I began archiving images and materials. I started introducing narratives and layers of meaning into my paintings. After about ten years of experimenting with materials and techniques I started making the inlaid map work. Since then I have been described as a collage artist, but I think collage could describe the inherent process behind almost all my work dating back to 1995 or so. EP: In addition to magazine clippings, your art exhibits a wide range of media, such as acrylic paint, wood, ink, and water color—thus expanding and challenging the traditional notion of “collage.” What is your perspective on the idea of collage and how do you think your work fits in? MC: I probably use magazine clippings the least of any material, mostly just for the Happy Endings. Mostly I use maps or material that has a connection to maps. For instance, the book pages and engravings I use come from the same history and geography textbooks, atlases and travel books that the maps were sourced from. The Doré engravings were first discovered in an illustrated bible, which also contained some amazing maps of the Bible Lands. That led me to use text from bibles and other Doré engravings from his illustrated editions of the classics like Dante’s Divine Comedy, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. I try to make the most of any material I use by employing as much of its original source as I can. The other mediums, like the walnut ink—which I make myself— the sumi ink, the dyes and the acrylics, are used for very specific functions. I have only used watercolor on one collage, Constellation, Red #1,” so I am not yet sure if I will continue using it. Sometimes I feel the collage needs some breathing room or a field of color on which to rest. The acrylic paint is used for this purpose. It is only used to paint broad open areas that fill a space that will not be collaged— usually backgrounds and skies. The inks and dyes allow me to manipulate the colors and values of certain maps. Since maps are made from paper printed with inks and dyes, I am only enhancing the existing elements of the map, not adding anything new. The inks and dyes are applied in diluted “baths” that saturate the paper without affecting any of the typography or marks on the maps. It’s almost like a photographic process that allows me to control the color saturation and value of the maps. Many of the “Map Works,” like Fiona’s Wave, Many Rivers, and Geronimo, are made us-
ing only the found maps without enhancing the colors and values. Other pieces, needed a broader range of values to achieve the darker qualities and content of the subject matter. It all depends on if what I am trying to achieve is possible only using the maps. EP: Could you talk a bit about how you incorporate found objects? MC: I have a natural inclination to collect stuff. My grandmother was a compulsive hoarder. After she died, as I was cleaning out her house, I realized that holding on to things could be dangerous. Repurposing is an alternative to hoarding. It is also an alternative to consuming and creating waste. It takes patience and a willingness to tinker. The French call it bricolage—a process that enriches many aspects of our culture, especially the creation of art. But it is also a form of appropriation, of taking from what surrounds you and making it your own. The maps and books I use are often objects that fit the description of the ephemeral and the obsolete. For instance, two of the largest bundles of maps I have came from a map manufacturer and a cargo ship company, both of whom had switched to digital GPS map software and had no use for there vast inventory of paper maps and nautical charts. As a result of obsolescence, hundreds of these old paper maps were given to me free because someone involved with these companies knew about my work. This is often the case. People hear about what I do or see my work and just give me a box full of maps they have been holding on to for years. Why? Probably because Google maps and GPS has rendered them useless for traveling purposes and at some point people just like to get rid of stuff, especially by donating them to a charitable organization or an eccentric artist who will use them. But old maps are also beautiful objects that on their own have a strong appeal to a large number of people including historians, genealogists, print collectors, and map lovers. There is a fairly large market for buying and selling old maps and in the past ten years I have seen their value increase quite a bit. Fortunately for me, the condition of the map is not much of an issue since I am only going to cut it up, so I am still able to get some great old maps at a very low price. EP: Do you find yourself drawn to certain mediums or materials as a means of expression at particular times or for specific reasons? MC: I do. The materials I choose to work with are essential to the visual and conceptual mechanisms of every piece. For instance, I found that maps had all the properties of a brushstroke: nuance, density, line, movement, and color.
Their palette is deliberate and symbolic, acting as a cognitive device to help us internalize the external. Maps are like a cross between a book and a work of art. I am fascinated with history and cultural narratives, and this information is embedded within maps. Every mark on a map is evidence of an existence and an index of a specific time and place. By splicing together dissimilar map fragments into the matrix of an illusory image, I can render hybrid topographies and timelines that integrate mythology with territory and generate new meaning. I am also drawn towards the utilitarian nature of maps and the role they have played in shaping the world. They are not just scientific depictions of terrain, they are tools used to construct and intervene with our environment. That is why a map is always evolving; it must reflect the constant reinvention of the world. Using maps as a medium for collage continually presents me with the challenge of integrating the resonant, varied, and complex nature of cartography with the more personal mystifying endeavor of making art. Given the layers of information evident in the work, I strive for plausibility and seamlessness between the many juxtapositions that occur. A collage must rely on a kind of alchemy in order to be successful; it must combine and transform material elements into something unique and extraordinary. My work is engaged with manifesting this transformation, and the achievement of this intention is an endeavor I have rigorously committed myself to. The connection between the material and the subject is usually my primary incentive for beginning each new collage. EP: In terms of artistic community, do you feel there exists a palpable “collage culture” and, if so, do you feel yourself to be a part of it? MC: I think collage, like film, and abstract art, is comparatively a fledgling in the evolution of visual art mediums. They all came into prominence in the early part of the twentieth century and have continued to evolve and gain momentum in the years that followed. So, as much as there is a film community, or continues to be a rift between abstract and representational art, collage artists do seem to belong to a sub-culture of their own. Yet these divisions and classifications seem to be breaking down as artists become less medium specific and are more concerned with the conceptual and visionary aspects of their work. As much as I recognize that collage is a defining part of my artistic identity, I also feel that it may limit the perception of what my work communicates. EP: Can you describe your artistic process? MC: I’ve accumulated a large inventory of all kinds of maps
at this point. Most of them come from atlases, old geography textbooks and National Geographic magazines, but I also collect nautical and aeronautical charts, USGS bathymetric and topographic maps, and astronomical charts. Knowing the range of materials I have to work from helps me conceptualize the piece. It helps me determine the subject matter, the palette, the composition and the size of the piece. The pictorial space acts as a matrix in which inlaid maps from different places and times coalesce into a narrative. Once I have a grasp on these elements I’ll start making a very detailed line drawing. Enlarged copies of the drawing are then used as templates to cut the maps. Each new map piece is cut to fit exactly with the adjacent pieces so as to preserve the uniformity of the picture plane. The map pieces never overlap one another so that in the end the illusion of a singular map surface is created. Piece by piece the maps are glued to a panel with a cradled back. As the composition proceeds I start to cut new shapes directly from the panel of inlaid maps. These shapes are carefully removed with a small chisel then replaced with new maps cut exactly to size. At this point it becomes very organic and intuitive, like painting, only more physical and precise like marquetry and pietra dura. It involves a lot of patience and a strong commitment to craft. Sometimes I scrape off all the maps and start over again, and some subjects I work and re-work for years. I will work on one or two pieces at a time and finishing a piece will depend on many factors: size, subject matter, the kind of maps I’m using, the clarity of vision I have for the piece. It can take anywhere between 200 to 300 hours to finish an average sized piece. A four-by-six foot piece can sometimes take three months to complete. The smaller ones usually three to six weeks. The portraits are the most difficult, no matter what size they are. EP: When, if ever, do you consider your works complete? MC: There are many pieces that get started and then reach a point where I lose faith in them. I’ll put them away for a year or so and return with fresh eyes and can usually figure out what went wrong and make the revisions necessary. I’ll never let a piece out of my studio that hasn’t been realized. Sometimes I let something go I have strong doubts about but also have a desire to see people’s reactions. Surprisingly these can be the ones that have the most impact on people. EP: How does your video art figure into your work? Do you consider your videos to also be a kind of collage? MC: I began the series of video montages in which I appropriate and manipulate car chase scenes from Hollywood movies shortly before I started working with maps,
around 2001. The car chase scene and resulting explosion is a fixture of Hollywood movies. It is a popular art form, a repetitive performance that I have great respect for. My videos are homage’s to these spectacles. The videos are also a process of data visualization and mapping. They attempt to analyze and internalize the hundreds of car chase scenes I have watched over the years. EP: From where do you draw inspiration? MC: I draw inspiration from everywhere—art, books, movies, music, travelling, surfing, Greek Myths, natural history museums, thrift shops, dreaming. I have never had to search for inspiration. I have journals filled with ideas for new artworks and projects and I am constantly adding to it. My biggest dilemma is finding the time to actually pursue all the ideas that come to me. I read a lot, many different kinds of books, a lot of history and non-fiction, so maybe if I had to specify one major source of inspiration it would be reading. But people are inspiring also. Having a great conversation with someone can lead to a whole new turn of events. EP: Tell me a little about your images of roads and waves. You seem to have a little bit of a preoccupation with “spaghetti junctions?” MC: The highway collages are all based on a series of photographs I took from a helicopter of the major interchanges around Dallas and Fort Worth. One of these interchanges, the locals call it the “Mixmaster,” has been rebuilt and expanded three times since the 1940’s. Using a combination of historical and my own photographs I have made three different collages of the ‘Mixmaster’s’ evolution. The project was inspired in part by Thomas Coles’s “Course of Empire” series of paintings and is very much about the impact of a large prosperous society on our landscape. But it is also a reflection on how our landscape and infrastructure has been shaped by our dependency on cars and oil. The waves have a similar visual dynamic at work, that of energy and movement, a balance between chaos and order, but the waves are about the power of nature and how the passageways of the oceans have determined and shaped the world we live in. EP: Your defacement series has a great sense of humor. Tell me a little about how you started that series, and your intention behind it. MC: ‘The Defacements’ are a series of works on paper that are motivated by my experiences in elementary school. I
was expelled from Catholic school in 5th grade because I had a rebellious streak and a tendency to mark up textbooks with irreverent commentary. In the process of collecting maps to use in my work, I have acquired a bunch of old geography textbooks. As I rediscovered these old textbooks, I was reminded of my childhood experiences in school. I decided to revisit my impudent and contentious urges by scraping and sanding away everything on certain textbook pages but a few words and a single image. EP: In several of your artist’s statements you mention the idea of “archiving.” What does archiving signify for you and why is it important to your art? MC: Archiving is an essential part of my process. Almost all of the materials I use are culled from an immense variety of sources that are sometimes as important to the understanding of the material as the material itself. Also, each map, book page, engraving, or whatever it is I have found, has properties that determine how I might use it. The archiving allows me not only a way of quickly accessing these materials when I need them, but as the archive expands in size, the mass of materials evolves into new categories that open up new possibilities for the work. Some materials have been archived yet never used, while other parts of the archive are continually depleted and need to be stocked again. EP: Your work has been shown nationally and internationally in galleries, museums, and more. What impact do you think collage has in an exhibition environment? MC: I think collage is a very generous medium. It offers
the viewer many pathways to access the work and make connections of their own. Yet collage can also risk treading close to notions of sentimentality, nostalgia, and seductive yet clichéd juxtapositions. Lately it seems that collage has ushered in a trend of under wrought displays of novelty and nonchalance, which has its own merits I suppose, but also contradicts the elements of sincerity and craftsmanship that I consider hallmarks of the medium. Collage has also become a reliable tactic for dismantling traditional expectations and as a shield against postmodern critique. My work engages with such strategies as well. However, in the larger scope of things, at this point collage should be as trusted and resilient as any other medium and be attributed as much to how the human mind has learned to deal with the complexity and wastefulness of our society as an aesthetic tactic used by artists to achieve a certain visual effect. EP: If you had access to any rare, priceless, or one-of-a-kind document—past, present, or future—with which to collage, which would it be and why? MC: Well, there would be two. I would love to get my hands on the only existing copy of Waldseemüller’s 1507 Universalis Cosmographia, because of it’s rarity and because without any empirical evidence it was the first map to depict the Americas as a continent between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The other would be an engraving of Dürer’s Melencholia I, 1514. This is one of the most enigmatic and masterful images ever produced and I have read a great deal about it. It also has an amazing amount of details that could become prominent elements in a revisionist narrative on melancholia, Neo-Platonism, and the Kabala.
IMAGES: Page 102-103: Fiona’s Wave, 2005, Inlaid maps on panel Page 106: Constellation (Red #1), 2009, Engravings by G. Doré for Dante’s Inferno, dye, watercolor, colored pencil, on panel Page 107, Top: Leviathan, 2008, Inlaid maps, illustrated bible, ink on panel Page 107, Bottom: Chasing the Dragon, 2006, Inlaid maps and acrylic on panel All images courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery
THE 22 MAGAZINE: You talk about a car accdient you were in as a child initially inspiring your return to analog collage. How do you feel it helps you to cope or make sense of this experience? ZACH COLLINS: It was actually what first got me to do analog collage as I had never worked this way before. My dad, brother, and I were in a car accident when I was in first grade. I came away with the most serious injury, as I fractured my C-2 vertebrate and had to learn to walk again. A few years ago, I became aware of the plethora of materials my mother had collected and saved, all concerning the accident. My mother had kept newspaper clippings, hospital records, emergency room photographs, on-scene photographs, a diary, and a scrapbook filled with cards, drawings, and letters from my classmates. With all this material I was able to revisit this event as an adult. While reading through the medical records, my mother’s diary, letters, etc., I got to see this event from many angles. It was an eye opener for me as I learned of the effects it had on me physically and emotionally, as well as on everyone around me. I do not feel it helped me cope in any way, but did give me a heightened appreciation for my family, friends, and our community, for all the support. It was much appreciated. 22: In an interview with artist Bad Jones Rising, you talk about every magazine having something interesting to offer, and in many of your collages it looks like you are taking the idea of using the whole animal very seriously. Do you feel this is a technique that is part of your aesthetic, or is it more of a necessity as an artist (i.e. materials are expensive!)? ZC: I would say it is an aesthetic for one way I have of working. I don’t like throwing away my scraps, and at the same time need to purge my desk a bit. My way of dealing with this is, every so often, I like to start a collage by grabbing random scraps from my pile on my desk and gluing down quickly with little thought, slowly building up layers until I see something I like. Then I slow down and make more calculated moves to finish the collage. In these instances the collages usually end up with a wide range of sources. 22: You also talk about using opposites in your work. Tell me a little about this dynamic, and what is important to you about employing it. ZC: I have a graphic design background, so the basic design rules are ingrained in me, to the point that it’s in-
tuitive. At first, I felt it to be somewhat bothersome as I was used to a grid being neat and clean. The thought of an uneven edge or torn paper didn’t sit well with me. I have loosened up a lot since I first started making analog collages in September 2011. I now love the visible paper fibers, tears, patina, etc. I have also experimented with several ways of working, setting rules, and guidelines to challenge myself and alter the outcomes. 22: You mention shifting through the scraps on your desk as you work. Is this sort of hunt part of how you create? What appeals to you about the stream of consciousness approach as opposed to meticulously laying out the elements? ZC: Yes, there is always some point during my process where I search through my scraps, sometimes more than others, but it always happens. My scraps and cutouts can be a great way to arrange various pieces and combinations to see how they react and respond to each other. I find it much harder to visualize these with an uncut page. 22: What about the idea of the unfinished creates a balance for you? Does this go back to your childhood trauma? ZC: I realized I had scattered memories of what had happened and my friend and mentor Allen Brewer quickly picked up on the similarities between (at the time) digital collages and my recovery. He suggested I do some analog collages and think of them as sketches. This quickly turned into much more than sketches as I explored my experiences of fear, pain, and confinement in relation to perseverance of treatment. This way of working parallels my recovery by starting fragmented and incomplete and slowly evolving one step at a time until all elements combine to form a new whole. Little did I know that I would take to working this way so well. It is very refreshing to feel I have found the medium I was meant to work in. 22: When discussing your inspiration for collage, you talk about everything inspiring you, but are there any specific locations or places that inspire you? ZC: Hunt & Gather and The Book Trader in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Art Scraps, and Midway Book In St. Paul, and of course garage sales, flea markets, and estate sales. 22: You talk about discussion with other artists as a motivator for you artistically. Do you feel collage is sort of a visual discussion that helps motivate you? Particularly
when you collaborate with other artists? ZC: Yes, I do feel collage is a visual discussion. It is a nice motivator to see this discussion continually changing as you bring new fragments in and out of the composition. I feel when working collaboratively that the visual discussion is the most important part of the process. It is out of this that the work develops. 22: How do you feel titles in collage work affect the final perception of the piece? Do you think about titles before, after, or during the making of the collage? ZC: Well, I feel that all depends on how you want the viewer to see your work. In most cases, with my personal work, I like to leave the interpretation up to the viewer without help from a title. In other cases, I may be illustrating an idea or concept and feel a title is needed. About eighty collages ago I stopped giving them titles and started numbering them. 22: What are the differences for you between digital and analog collage? Which feels more satisfying? ZC: I have done both and feel they are very different even though the approach is the same. Collage is “everything” and anything. It is all artwork. The interface is different which results in different searches and different decisions. With digital collage, I have found there to be too many possibilities. I find myself more attracted to the immediacy of analog collage as well the ephemeral connection with the materials I am using. 22: You talk about setting up rules and limitations on the way you work (pinups with processed food, etc.), and leaving interpretation up to the viewer. How does this enhance or restrict your collage making? Do you find it an
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easier or more satisfying way to work? Or just a change of pace? ZC: For me, I feel it does both. I am always looking for different ways of working that ultimately alter the outcome. By setting rules and limitations, I am restricting myself while enhancing my collage making experience, by putting myself in new positions to create. I don’t find this way to be easier or a more satisfying way to work, rather a way to incorporate change into my practice, thus learning and improving upon my skill set. 22: Do you find these pieces have been better received by the viewer? Are the reactions or interpretations what you imagined? ZC: I really don’t know if the pinups and processed food exercise was received better by the viewer or not. I am not really sure about all the reactions or interpretations, but I can imagine there are pros and cons just like in any other piece of artwork. This exercise was done for myself and I shared my results along with the limitations set for viewers to interpret however they choose. 22: What appeals to you about speaking with pattern or color in some of your pieces as opposed to, say, a more literal approach? ZC: Collage can be a risky endeavor. The challenges lie swithin each bit of paper or photograph used, and sometimes I like to work completely with composition, color, shape, process, and textures to create non-objective works. In some cases, I feel imagery takes away from other important aspects of the collage. There is a lot to see if you look a little closer, such as paper fibers, benday dots, and the imperfections of the printing process. The patina of age, as well as evidence of the past with handwriting,
DAVID MOODY : EXERCISE 2
Image: Zach Collins, 62zc13, 2013, Collage
Fragments of an American Epic: Invocation to the Muse Medium power fuels the medium months as men tighten around the Earthâ€™s hem. Look, America, Lincoln. Look, Lincoln, people. Medium people in ocean foam. People allowed to be messes and be cut into bands. All of the firsts, all of the news, all the easier to explore land. It is here, into this month, that the Caribbean and also Venice, oh all, disappears. In this month, too, small America disappears. Oh Ocean, allow this explorer an easier month, foam bands of land, twenty fuels, new members, a Tyrrhenian cut, the hem of the Earth. Oh, Ocean, recite it. Let it permit. Let this explorer look at all Earths, cause new seas, be first let for twenty months to work, and then, as if America, to be cut from here.
PERMIT THIS Look, seas, permit this. New York permits this and large people permit this. Medium people permit this. Earthmen permit this. First, permit this. First explorer, permit this. Land explorer, permit this. Caribbean, permit this. Tyrrhinian, permit this. Foam month, permit this. Hemmed Venice, permit this. Lincoln, permit this. It is easier, permit this. America, permit this because people permit this. Twenty here permit this for people permit this. Twenty disappear for people permit this. Cut here. Permit this. And this, too, permit this. Because messes tighten months, let here permit this. Because this fuels the new—and it works—permit this. Because all around permit this. Allowed permits permit this. Twenty becauses permit this. Twenty-twenty and libraries, and for what? Permit this. Counterfoil, for people permit to permit this. And, too, permit this. For look, permit this. Oh, ocean, permit this. Oh, to permit this. Oh, first the permit-this let Power permit this. Small bands of permit-this. The months of permit-this. The look. The here and all that permit, permit, permit. As in “to recite” as in “to permit this” as in: it is easier and easier to be used—oh, easier and easier to permit this.
Bruce New INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABERTH PERRY: You believe your work is “an attempt to document [your] existence.” Why? How do you achieve this documentation and why is it important to you? BRUCE NEW: I think of the pictures, the works themselves, as documentation. I am not sure that it is important. I have a compulsive “need” to make these things. EP: Where did you grow up? How did you become interested in art, and have you always focused on collage? BN: I grew up in Somerset, Kentucky. I always drew and kept notebooks of sorts. I drew over top of comics and coloring books. I never thought of being an artist. I did not know any artist personally. My Grandmother and Aunts made quilts and clothing. Some of the men made tools and such. Things were made for use though and not aesthetic appreciation, although many of them were quite beautiful. I started out painting seriously in my mid-twenties. After several years I started making photomontages. After several more years of this I started a series of drawings that were based on the earlier paintings. One night I cut up part of a drawing and realized I could “control” the composition the same way I had done the photomontages. Draw everything out, cut it up, rearrange it into what you see as the final product. Everything I had been doing for years came together as one “style.” I just followed the work. I had no idea where I was going. It all has happened naturally and organically. EP: What role did your upbringing or education play in your desire to create art? How do you feel your background as a self-taught artist has influenced your work or your professional trajectory? BN: I have just had a need to make things. It is a natural extension of my personality. The work kind of makes itself through me. I just let it be what it is. I never thought of being anything in particular. EP: Your work has an intriguing ethnic and graphic aesthetic, with its use of sharp edges and angles, but also a distinctly personal presence, through its use of faces, figures, and symbols. How do you feel you’ve developed your
unique style, and what aspects of yourself—as a person or an artist—do you feel it exposes? BN: I have tried to be disciplined and work regularly. The work over time has created itself. I try to just follow that. I use symbolism to reflect Robin and my relationship. I am motivated by love and dreams, poetry, life in general. I think of myself as a dreamer. EP: What kind of materials do you use for collaging? Why those materials and how do you find them? Why do you prefer to overlay text—as opposed to blank backgrounds—with shapes, images, and drawings? BN: I use assorted papers and book pages. I collect books of all kinds. The text creates a type of tension. From heavily texted areas to blank ones. I am not sure the eye even registers it. It is very subtle. I like the way it looks basically. I had used text in the backgrounds of the photomontages I had made. It reappeared in the drawings. You can also read weird little things into them once they are completed that I would never think of. EP: What is your creative process? Some of your works appear as a series of panels. In these instances as well as others, do you often find yourself working on multiple projects at once or one at a time? How do you know when a piece is “done?” BN: I have always worked in sets. When you are working most every day there seems to be themes and periods that you kind of work through naturally. I usually complete one piece at a time. Then after several days I sometimes put the pieces together. If it works, I show them together as one piece. I draw things out for several days and cut them up. Then I put everything back together into the pictures you see. Then I do the borders, pen work etc. to unify the piece as a whole. EP: A lot of your works, including many of your more recent pieces from 2013, feature lines, borders, and patterns of various kinds. Is symmetry important in your work, and what role does it play, if any? BN: I like the design element of the borders and patterns.
I have added them to hold the pictures in place. I have been making pictures with multiple compositions. I like the way the designs separate the different scenes. EP: What impact do you intend color to have in your work? It seems you rely heavily on black, white, red, and blue. Are these colors particularly significant for you? What motives or ideas propelled “The White Set” from 2010, a collection that features images made from text pages on top of solid white backgrounds, unlike most of your other works? BN: I have always used primary colors. The earlier paintings were the same. I used color straight from the tubes then. I am not sure why. The “White Set” was done in relation to the other pieces I had been making at the time. I just decided to draw on the text and flip it to the white backgrounds. It was the opposite of what I was doing. It seemed like a natural step. EP: What is the significance of your repeated use of certain images, such as diamonds, suns, birds, stars, arrows, and skulls, as well as particular numbers and letters? BN:The work itself focuses on my realtionship with my wife, Robin. The birds, allusions to flight, wings, etc. are all in reference to her. The letter R that appears between many of the males eyes to symbolize thinking of her. Robin and I are really good friends. We have been married for seventeen years and together for about twenty. It seemed like a natural thing to make art about. She still thinks I am funny, which helps. The arrows represent the barbs, set-backs that we all experience, harsh words in life. It is a part of this experience too. We just carry them on with us. The skulls are a reference to the “Day of the Dead”. To represent that this life is fleeting. I use Robin and my birth years (70-75) in the work. I usually use the number of our anniversary too. EP: Even while you incorporate seemingly recognizable objects, such as those just mentioned, your depiction of them—given your stylistic use of vivid colors and irregular shapes—is very unique. Are there any particular artists, styles, or genres that you feel have been influential in your work? BN: I have been influenced good or bad by most everything I have seen. The master works published in most magazines and anthologies had an impact on my early work. I have consistently made work. The style created itself through trial and error. EP: Do you feel your art consists of narratives, particularly
in light of the fact that you use your work as a means of documenting your existence? How do you imagine other people—who are perhaps not familiar with you personally—to engage with your art? BN: I have started to think of my pictures as scenes in the same play. The stage is set. The figures move out into position. Sometimes you can see the figures waiting in the wings. They keep moving, changing positions, taking on different poses and scenes. I think everyone can relate to dreams, love, the magic of the world. EP: Does viewer reception or a sense of the ‘commercial art world’ affect the way you make art or conduct yourself as artist? If so, how? Or if not, why do you think that is? BN: No, not yet. I have always just made things for Robin and I first. I make what I want to make. Luckily, some people have seen merit in what I am doing. I feel very grateful and fortunate as to the way things have worked out. I just want to keep working and growing. EP: In what context do you feel it is ideal to present or share your work? BN: I like gallery settings. The trade shows are cool. They get a lot of people interested in the type of things I am doing in the same place at the same time. I think a lot of artists have started to use the free social websites as a way of getting the images out to more people. To also connect to each other. There is a vibrant, thriving community of artists posting online daily. EP: Can you describe what it’s like to collage on 3-dimensional objects, such as globes, guitars, and barrels? Does your creative process vary notably when you are working on these kinds of projects? BN: It has its challenges like everything else but it lends itself very well to what I am doing. It too seemed like a natural step. I use a paper mache process to adhere it to the surfaces. Other than that, it is very similar to what I do with the drawings. EP: In regards to your art, you’ve said you feel you have “a compulsive need to make these things, to do this.” Can you talk a bit about that drive and how it impacts your life? Do you feel your style has evolved drastically over time? BN: It is very natural. I do not think about it much. It is there. I want to make things. To make work about Robin
and myself, our lives together, seems natural too. The style has not changed drastically, they were each small steps, from one thing to another. I have just remained consistent. Over time the style has created itself. EP: How do you foresee either the immediate or distant future of your work or your life as an artist? How would you describe your artistic or personal aspirations? BN: Making art, trying to get the most enjoyment out of life as I can, growing older with Robin. Just living, working, loving, dreaming. I am just going to follow the work and let everything else work itself out.
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DOUG STAPLETON INTERVIEW BY KIERAN DONNAN
KIERAN DONNAN: What ignited your interest in collage work in particular, and are there specific literary or philosophical influences for your work? It is clear that your interest is also historical, so are there influences from the past for your work? DOUG STAPLETON: Immediacy and possibility. At the heart of my process is permission to upset visual categories and meanings. Doing collage also helps me understand and comprehend the world around me. My collages are a response then, my declaration of convictions and desires. I also want the work to have broader currency, which is one reason I work with art historical images. I choose a gesture, a moment, a physical attitude and smash that historic episode into my current obsessions. While the process seems spontaneous, my internal librarian is cross-checking references as I shuffle and fumble around a pile of images. I have a series of statements and cautions that I use to keep me engaged: What is the original meaning of the images? What do they remind of me of now? What else can they stand for? How do they sync up and how do they collide? This may not be a philosophy, but it is a kind of working algorithm. I look at lots of other collage work and I look for precedents before Picasso glued some newspaper to one of his paintings. I’m interested in an assemblage or collage view of image-making: Arcimboldo’s composite figures through early photo-montage, Dutch Still Life and trompe-l’oeil painting. I find early navigation and star maps fascinating in how fact and fiction collide in orderly systems. Among modern and contemporary artists, I admire those chance driven collagists like Jacque de Villegle, ripping and tearing bold compositions, or quiet formalist like Ann Ryan. I also admire the blatantly political, satirical, sexual work of artists like John O’Reilly, Genesis P’orridge, Ralph Arnold or Martha Rosler (to name a few that I’ve been looking at recently). What has had impact on my working process are authors such as Annie Lamott, Mark Doty and Annie Dillard in their writings on writing. I think of my collages as a form of writing—bookish creatures full of descriptive and narrative troubles. Additionally, my years working with dancers and choreographers has shown me a way to construct a visual vocabulary that is physically motivated. I find that thinking from another discipline challenges me to break out of visual strategies that are too familiar and reliable. KD: Is collage evocative in a way you could describe, such as the way the image makes an impact by coming into contact with another image?
DS: Evocation is a great word—summonsing of a supernatural entity or of a memory of a time past. I love how images carry around their history like old lies and secrets, partially intact and heavily coded. I want to make my own secrets and codes with my collage. The power in collage is how images collide. My collisions tend towards a more seamless, studied approach. I try to blur the boundaries of different images to create a strange new whole. I think it is most successful when images jolt and startle us without really trying. It’s a delicate form of restraint that allows the eye to complete and accept the image while possibly churning up some discontent. KD: It is clear that their is classical imagery throughout your work. Is there a particular message you are trying to evoke by using these images in particular? DS: I started using classical imagery by happenstance— I found a book on Greek sculptures along with a book of photographs of Australian truckers. One summer evening, I started cutting and combining and they fit wonderfully. I had shied away from using Greek, Roman and later Renaissance and Revival-style images; their classical beauty left me cold. Additionally I equated them as part of a complacent, knee-jerk gay aesthetic of muscled beauty. As a man who came of age during the AIDS epidemic, the fiction of perfection of the diseased-free body was everywhere—coffee table books, magazine, movies—inspired directly from classical sculpture. Working with the trucker photos and combining the weather-worn greasy truckers with time-worn and scarred sculptures was a revelation. It shifted my long-brewing discontent around objectification into praises of imperfection. KD: You mention in your website the religious and literary dimensions of your work. Do you feel your work developed because of these, or is it independent of political messages? DS: In Costantine Cavafy’s poem “What I Bring to Art,” he writes how he submits to poetry his desires and perceptions, indistinct and half-glimpsed, to become something nearly whole and imperceptibly complete. That poem really resonates with me—desires, half-glimpsed, indistinct, unfulfilled, imperceptible—a perpetual condition of longing. What I’m interested in is how images portray mystery and power, rapture and abandon. I think then about my own negotiation with ontological understanding. What does mystery and power look like to me? I bring my own struggle to my work table and, like Cavafy, sit in a mood of reverie.
KD: And what of the absurd? The message of your work that reveals both clearness and absurdity, an articulation that is also joyful. How important is meaning forming in your work as opposed to the more slippery sense of humor that is put across? DS: Humor and absurdity are very important to me—it is part of the reverie—something joyful. Sometimes I just crack myself up in my studio. Humor keeps me in check from pompousness and over intellectualizing. Also, in answer to part of the previous question, humor is one way I address social and political critique. Absurdity helps me funnel personal convictions, outrages and sorrows into something public and shared. Finally, I think that absurdity jolts us out of day to day reality, a trickster spark into a different perception of what we are as humans. KD: Do you feel responsible for your images, how you dismantle figures and rearrange their identities? Or is this a more playful range of concepts? It appears that sometimes the image is stark and at others delirious with absurdity. Is this intentional? DS: The starker, simpler images seem to arrive without much effort. Those are blissful moments for me. The more complex images take greater intention; teasing apart how I want the images to perform. No matter how busy and over-wrought, I still require some underlying
clarity, balancing formal composition with convoluted baroque imagery. Regarding responsibility to the image, I am interested in their original meaning and significance and try to bring some of that along into the work. I have to be cautious about getting too attached to an original image—I tend to squander them, waiting for that “perfect moment” to use them. That often never comes. I follow Annie Dillard’s advice in The Writing Life—that is to use the idea in the moment and not squirrel it to become stagnant. I agree. I get such a back log of images sometimes that I find it suffocating. I have tricks, chance operations, that I use to bypass my seduction with original images, and hopefully, override my attachment. KD: Finally, it seems that your art is deeply philosophical yet has a playful, pop culture texture to it. Is this an important aspect of the future of your medium? DS: I hope to balance between the thoughtful and the absurd. What I strive for is a condition of between-ness that skitters between opposites without taking sides. I want the work to be serious and irreverent, queer and strange, unsettling, comforting, hermetic, alluring and jolting. Trickster work! In answering these questions I’m aware of how much I reference myself, which I hope is less about ego and more about how I try to give the collages something of my own being.
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DELILAH LOVE JONES ANSWERS FROM THE ELEMENTS, 2013, HAND CUT PAPER COLLAGE
INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: What was growing up like for you? Did you come from an artistic family? JOHANNA GOODMAN: While my parents weren’t “artists” by trade, they were definitely artists at heart. In the sixties, before I came along, they were in New York. They hung out with the Pop artists, went to gallery openings and places like Max’s Kansas city. My father was a scientist but also did some cartooning and had an excellent sense of humor. My mother was a writer and did some modeling for the artist, Tom Wesselmann. Tom was a friend of my dad’s and they eventually met through him —I believe at Louise Nevelson’s birthday party. So I grew up in a household that really valued art and free thinking. I was exposed to a lot of art and was encouraged to draw and make things from an early age. I don’t think I ever really considered being anything but an artist, it was just what I did all the time. I don’t think I considered illustration or collage seriously until I was well into college. EP: Can you remember the first moment you concretely felt, “I want to do art?” JG: When I was about five I took an art class. One day the teacher set me up by a mirror and told me to do a self-portrait based on what I saw —as in, abstract shapes and light and shadow. I was hit with the proverbial bolt of lightning. It was the first time I was exposed to another way of seeing and I was enthralled. EP: How do you feel that studying art has influenced your style as an artist, or perhaps contributed to your exposure to different genres and mediums? JG: I think I’m lucky to have been exposed to different ideologies. I studied Fine Art and Art History at Boston University School for the Arts where we were taught in the classical tradition. It was rigorous training in draftsmanship and traditional painting and sculpture. Expectations were high and there were no short cuts. We worked many hours armed with lots of information and guidance. But the application of the skills wasn’t emphasized so much. I wasn’t sure what to do with all that I had learned. Then I heard about Illustration and realized that I could actually paint and draw for a living! Thunder bolt #2. I transferred to Parsons School of Design to get my BFA in Illustration, where the emphasis was on experimentation and what was happening at the moment in the art and design worlds. EP: The faded, vintage color schemes of your collages, as well as their use of familiar images, such as sewing ma-
chines and other recognizable objects, contribute largely to the immediate, emotional impact your work has on its viewers. How do you determine the images you will use for collaging? Do you ever find yourself collaging with the same image(s) more than once? JG: I tend to use imagery that hits me viscerally when I see it. I’ll just dig the way something looks so much that I have to use it. Then again, I’m often surprised by what I’ve used. That’s what’s so great about collage. You really can’t plan any of it. It’s the journey. I don’t think I’ve used the same images more than once; not that I wouldn’t, but once I’ve used it, I’ve used it! Onto the next… EP: Can you describe the artistic process you undergo when making a collage—all the steps that occur between initial concept and finished product? JG: It’s all about the search. I start with a very vague idea of what I’m trying to say but the images I find are what narrow it down and explain it fully. Basically, I flip and flip through magazines until I find images that describe a feeling or a thought. It’s like shopping – it’s a thrill to find what you didn’t know you were looking for. EP: What aesthetic or thematic role does text—even when used sparingly—play in your art? JG: Text operates just like an image in my work. I don’t usually begin knowing that I’m going to include any text. I just come across it and know it needs to be part of the image. Sometimes its purely formal, operating as texture. Other times it is the element that ultimately holds a piece together conceptually. EP: Your work, as an illustrator and collage artist, seems largely tied into journalism and popular culture, having been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Time, and Playboy, as well others. What are your thoughts on creating art that is tailored specifically for a particular client? How do client-specific assignments influence or alter your artistic process? JG: I really love client-specific assignments. I don’t think I would like to have only myself as the client. I love being guided into directions that I would never choose for myself. It forces me to explore things happening in culture and the world that I might not otherwise take the time to think much about. I just did a piece about “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” for Entertainment Weekly. It’s a show I’ve never seen but it was nothing short of fascinating to re-
search and then draw. Sometimes I get so deeply involved in the faces and stories of my subjects that I actually start to have real feelings about them. It sounds crazy but it’s true. EP: How do you feel the media through which your art is represented affects its meaning or significance? JG: I love having my work appear in magazines and on the internet—places where it actually gets seen by people all over the world. It makes me feel like I am actually speaking to someone other than myself. A gallery show is very nice but so limited in the number of people who actually end up seeing the work. EP: Celebrity and celebrity culture figure prominently in your works, including your collages, which in particular call upon the medium’s rich potential for provoking nostalgia and inciting social commentary. Can you talk a bit about your work’s aesthetic and conceptual preoccupation with celebritydom? JG: I’m more interested in faces and people in general than famous faces and people, but there is such a hunger for celebrity, such a demand and supply of celebrity-based images in the world. It’s a smorgasbord of personalities for me to peruse and to use as my models. Also, in keeping with my love of the problem-solving aspect of Illustration, it is much more challenging and rewarding to achieve a good likeness of a known subject rather than just to make a good portrait of someone whom the viewer has never seen. I do take pride in capturing something that the viewer can recognize and identify with. Whether or not we want to, we all end up somewhat “knowing” these celebrities. I feel like the celebrity in any of my work is a kind of stand-in for the human condition, for all of us. EP: Many of your works, such as What Women Want, A Woman’s Intuition, and Girl Time speak to what might be considered the female experience. How do notions of beauty or feminism play into the conceptual nature of your art? JG: I can’t believe that notions of beauty or feminism don’t have a strong influence on any woman’s art, or consciousness. My life’s experience has been the female experience and it makes its way into my work. I am and have always
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been a feminist. That said, I love magazines and fashion. I especially like the imagery of women in old magazines. Images of women in current magazines, and pop-culture at large, strike me as so homogeneous and stale. They’re all airbrushed and manipulated, and manipulating. It all seems fun and harmless when the photos were taken fifty years ago, and surprisingly fresh. EP: Do you think of your works as consisting of narratives? JG: The work I do for illustration assignments tend to be narrative. Hopefully, they are clear enough to communicate an idea to the viewer. In the work I do for myself the narrative is usually there somewhere but it’s fuzzier, more visceral or ethereal. EP: While many of your works, such as Family Tree and Leak, call attention to mainstays of our daily lives—such as social media—or even controversial aspects of “today’s society,” others seem to encapsulate broader, human concerns in single, poignant collages. How do these thematically weighty collages relate to your broader artistic vision or what you consider to be your role as an artist? JG: The collages come from a place that is intuitive, and mysterious even to me. To be honest, I don’t have any idea of what I’m trying to say while I’m working. I only get some understanding after the work is done. It’s like when you wake up and tell someone about a dream you had and it’s not until the retelling of the dream that you understand what it was all about. EP: How does one build up the kind of reputation as an illustrator that you have obviously worked hard to develop? Where do you hope to take your art in the future, and do you anticipate that its “market” will drastically change in the next several years? JG: It’s not so much that I’ve tried to develop a reputation as much as the fact that I keep going and going – some would say against better judgment. I love what I do and don’t let common sense get in the way. I consider myself so fortunate that somehow I’ve been able to make a living painting and drawing and cutting and pasting. My only plan is to keep doing it and see where it takes me.
Eva Richter: Where did you grow up? Where do you live?
glossy now and I don’t like that.
Jordan Clark: I grew up and I still live in Upland, California. It’s not much, it’s a small town. I definitely don’t want to keep living in Upland. It’s very boring. I was going to move to San Francisco this last summer, but things fell through. I’ve actually been looking into moving up to Portland, and I might do that within the next year. That would be rad.
ER: What attracts you to certain images?
ER: How did you start collaging?
ER: Who has been an influence on your work? Any artists in particular?
JC: I started doing these really lame collage/paintings toward the end of high school. They were awful. I was hugely inspired by this English illustrator named Benjamin Carr. He is awesome. Mine were horrible. Then I gave that up. In my first year of college I took a beginning graphic design class. I started to mess with digital collages because I’m pretty lazy, and making ones by hand took much longer. Anyway, I was really inspired by a designer named Mark Weaver. In the midst of all that I came up with the idea of the geometric ones. Then a couple of months later, maybe in February, I started making them by hand. ER: What is your art education? JC: I’m in my third year at a community college. I’ve taken art classes since junior high, but they were always the standard drawing and painting. I didn’t start collages or what I do now until two, three years ago. And I haven’t taken any art classes at the community college so far, just standard courses you have to get out of the way. ER: Why did you go from digital to handcut collages? Do you prefer the tactile experience? JC: Yes, it’s way more fun. You’re more limited, which is kind of cool. You have to work around things and figure out how things can work. On the computer, it’s all at your fingertips, so you can do whatever you want. Plus I think I was getting carpal tunnel from it anyway. ER: What are your sources for found imagery? JC: Magazines and books, just from going to yard sales, and at a lot of public libraries they have community bookstores, so I get them mostly from there. It’s a lot of searching. I like using stuff before the ’90s, and later than the ’50s. The color, the way the paper is used, the ink—everything—is way different than the way it is now. It’s really
JC: It’s hard, it really depends. The first couple [of collages] I made had busy backgrounds. Stuff I’ve been doing lately has been very blank, so I can do a lot with the face. I think it changes. It just depends on if I can see a shape within their body or within their face that could work.
JC: In my high school architecture class I was on the computer a lot, looking at art. I remember this artist, Ashkan Honarvar. He just did these amazing collages of the human body and nature. I found out around a year later that he does all his work handmade, and I was amazed. It doesn’t look like you could do it handmade. It’s awesome. That really sparked my interest. It was like, wow, you can do whatever you do on the computer… with your hands. What’s cool, actually, is he’s now an artist with the gallery I work with. I’ve shown with him. ER: I’m interested in your cover for Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory. Megan Wilson wrote about it positively for the New York Times, noting it was the “sort of cover that transcends any clever marketing plan.” Could you talk about the process behind having your work featured in this way? Did you create the image specifically for the book? JC: Oh, no. It fell into my lap, really. I had made that months beforehand. Then around September of last year, John Gall contacted me and bought the piece. A couple of weeks later, I got an email saying that he works for Abrams Books in New York, and he wants to use it as a book cover. I thought it wasn’t real, but I was stoked, so I went with it. It was weird seeing it for the first time. I got a couple of copies in the mail, and that was cool, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw it at a Barnes & Noble. I’m psyched about it. ER: Many of your collages seem to defamiliarize or disrupt cliché portraits from different times in the past (for example, the 1960s.) What is your thinking behind using these images that seem almost ingrained in our collective psyche? JC: I choose those not only because they fit what I like to use (the colors, the placement of the person), but they are
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also easy to relate to. By using an image that people are somewhat familiar with, they are drawn to it that much more. The Ben Franklin piece, for example, is a very famous painting. Even by mutilating the face, you can still easily recognize the image and person. Choosing images that we are familiar with, and then changing the basis of the image, disrupts what we already knew. It makes you see it in a completely different light. They are now just some faceless, or demonic-looking, human being. I like the idea of the viewer being able to decide what it means. ER: Is there a relationship between loss of identity and facelessness in your work?
ER: If you could meet any person living today, who would it be? JC: I would meet Larry David. It would be the raddest thing, just sitting down and having breakfast with him. That’s a dream come true. I would also like to meet Calvin Johnson from “Beat Happening,” Jason Pierce from “Spacemen 3,” and Jonathan Richman from “The Modern Lovers.”
JC: A person’s face is usually the first thing you notice about them. There is so much you can tell about a person through their face. For example, the eyes. You can see compassion, you can see anger, you can see so many things just through a person’s eyes. By taking that away, you are able to create a new story for that person. The viewer makes up the identity. The viewer decides what they see.
ER: What is a typical day for you?
ER: The titles of your works are often funny and ironic (for example, a collage of Ben Franklin is called Be Frank With Me, and another work depicting an obscured face is called Eye Can’t See.) Do you feel humor is an important part of your art? What is its role?
JC: A lot. I’m working on an album cover. I’m working on some stuff for an online gallery in South Africa. Silkscreen stuff for a clothing company in England. And some editorial stuff for a magazine. I’m also working on my personal stuff for a show I have coming up at the gallery in January of next year. This is the most productive day I’ve had in years. But it’s fun. I also just had some work come out in a book called The Collage Book, and I’m doing wood silkscreening.
JC: I have always been a fan of comedy. I watch way too much TV, and most of the shows I watch are humorous. I think that has carried over into my work. Maybe not in a
huge way, but slightly. I think that art sometimes is taken a little too seriously, and there is room for more humor. A piece can be comic, but it is still brilliant, and beautiful.
JC: This is not the most typical day for me. I usually work on stuff a few times a week. Some days are much busier than others. Most of my days consist of eating cereal and watching Boy Meets World on my bed. ER: What are you working on currently?
THOMAS SPIELER PAGE 135: THE OLYMPICS, 2013, COLLAGE ON PAPER TOP LEFT: NERO, 2013, COLLAGE ON PAPER TOP RIGHT: K&Q, 2013, COLLAGE ON PAPER BOTTOM RIGHT: K&Q, 2013, COLLAGE ON PAPER PAGE 137: DREAMER, 2012, COLLAGE ON PAPER
Launa D. Romoff #442 Double Two, 2013, mixed/media collage
EDUARD BEZEMBINDER PAGE 139: dino-quartz, 2013, paper-collage PAGE 140: subshark, 2013, paper-collage PAGE 141: malachite dinoâ€™s, 2013, paper-collage
TIMOTHY SHEPARD Interview by Mirela Sucur
Mirela Sucur: In your description of your landscape collages, you wrote, “Memory is collage.” I’m curious about what you mean by that? Timothy Shepard: I think one can apply the idea of collage to all aspects of consciousness. It seems to me that collage goes some way to understanding what is going on. Does any thought or feeling or what have you, exist in isolation to itself or is it a combination? In terms of the landscape collage works, I am thinking from the point of view of remembering a particular place I have been to. Such a memory is not one singular static view. As we walk within a landscape, the mind takes in all sorts of information – all the elements, along with one’s perceptions and impressions, which together combine and form a landscape – from differing angles, perspectives, scale, etc., and when later recalled these various bits of information have the fluidity and seamlessness of memory. As a thought experiment, think about the house where you grew up – the front yard, the neighboring houses, the cars parked on the street, the trees along the street. Although the memory may seem accurate in its representation of a real place, it is in fact an amalgam of all sorts of memories of that place, from a plural view. If one could somehow print out this memory and compare it to an actual photograph of your childhood home, one might be quite surprised at the difference and the extraordinary creativity which goes on in our own heads. MS: How did your interest in the passage of time develop? TS: Certainly a sense of the passage of time is something profoundly innate in all of us. I am interested in how the material gathered over time can become one cohesive whole. In art Cézanne was very much a practitioner of this… painting the same landscape or still life over a period of months, and yet presenting all those moments as one moment. MS: Did Eadweard Muybridge’s work influence the way you conceive of time in art? TS: I have had copies of both his “Animals and Humans in Motion” volumes since I was a student. I was fascinated by them from the very start and there is something about the aesthetic of Muybridge’s plates that appeals.
But whereas his work was about breaking down an event to its individual parts (motivated, so the story goes, to win a bet that a galloping horse has all four hooves off the ground at one point—something otherwise unapparent to the eye), I am interested in how a sequence documenting the passage of time comes together to form one moment in two dimensions. It’s utterly fascinating to me. But yes, I think one could say that his project and mine are two sides of the same reductionism coin. Both reveal something otherwise hidden in time. MS: How do you experience the dichotomy between man, whose perceptions are subjective, and machines such as cameras, which record a so-called objective reality, with regard to your art? TS: For a start I don’t necessarily feel that perception is purely subjective. There seems to be an interesting interplay between how the mind perceives something both objectively and subjectively with a rather ambiguous border between the two. I rather like the word omnijective as an umbrella term. It is an omnijective perception which I am going for in my landscape collages—born from a combination of the machine-produced camera images and my own perception and experience at the time. On the one hand they represent nature in a painterly way, and on the other they rely on photography to arrive at their representation of reality. MS: In 1993 you made the “Turnbury Recordings,” and this year, twenty years later, you made “Bluewaltzforyou.” Why did you decide to go back to music now? TS: It was a conversation I had with Kevin Ayers a few months before he died in regards to his own work. We were talking about how the self-consciousness of what one does, especially when you have a reputation, hampers the creative process. His first album, “Joy of a Toy,” was just an artist goofing around in the studio with no expectations, for the sheer fun of it. He wanted to be able to do that again, but didn’t get the chance. I began work on “Bluewaltzforyou” in Kevin’s house a few days after he died. For me specifically, the “Turnbury Recordings” came out of a particular time. I had just been dropped from a recording contract when what I delivered as an album back then was so far removed from the sort of indie boy set I was signed for. Now that I had blown any chance at pop success, I decided to let my experimentation go really free. Sampling was at its very early stages and I felt like making something from the point of view of an artist without thinking of anyone elses agenda. 20
years later, under entirely different circumstances in my life, and thinking of Kevin, I thought it would be interesting to see what sort of thing I could come up with, following the same sort of process as before, but within such a different framework.
I generally only sample such tiny snippets of sound and combine those to make whole riffs or phrases, it’s not like I have a riff or something I really love and think, hmmmm, I’d like to do something with that. In collage generally I have always been very wary of contained aesthetic.
MS: How did the rapid technological changes of the past 20 years influence the way you now create your musical collages? Similarly, how do you feel your work reflects the changing process of making music?
MS: In the process of creation, things don’t always go the way one might have in mind. Do you embrace the mistakes that inevitably happen as you create a work of art? Do you embrace coincidence and chance?
TS: I used to have an eight-track analogue studio set-up in my home in London, so now the technological changes mean that I could have a living room in my flat rather than a music studio, sample from records straight onto a laptop, and record multi track onto a palm-sized hard drive. Simple and as wonderful as that! But that is about as far as the technological advances have been incorporated into the process. I still hand trigger the samples, allow myself only the most rudimentary pitch control, do not have a battery of effects and processors, and if I make a mistake (which is not a happy one) I rewind and start again from the top. So with all the work I do, although I do take advantage of new technology, I am very mindful that it does not infringe on the overall process. I think on the whole with modern recording that there are far too many choices. There is a tendency for technology to play the artist. It’s killing the raw craft and individualism of music, and that’s plain to hear in much of what’s being produced today. It all sounds processed and not very human, which of course is what music is really all about. It’s losing that visceral power. I don’t really like the way a lot of music being done today sounds so very clean and precise—it’s digital data really. And I have seen people endlessly tweak and tune something to bits in front of a computer screen simply because they can, and they feel they ought. I reckon if it sounds good when you first hear it, it’s good.
TS: Yes absolutely. For the longest time I would never sign any work. That is to say, take entire credit for its creation, as so much of what happens is accidental or at least something I find surprising. However, I’ve always liked the quote attributed to Louis Pasteur. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I am, though, always quite amazed how such heterogeneous parts in my work come together as a whole, and how, in a music collage for instance, I can be dropping a needle through a stack of records and find just the right sort of sound to go with something else. The “Bluewaltzforyou” piece has over 60 samples taken from pretty much the same number of albums recorded at all sorts of different times and of all sorts of different styles of music in its two minutes and 22 seconds—that’s a lot of coincidence and chance.
MS: How do you start a musical collage? Do you have a particular sound in mind? TS: I usually start with a constructed sound, a handful of sampled musical snippets I play together to form a phrase which somehow captures a feeling that I want to develop and explore, and then from there like any collage, one thing suggests another. I only sample sounds from records I find in junk stores—all long forgotten or at least not at all known to me, and very rarely do I find something which makes it from my collection of sampling records to ones I have in a box by my turntable to listen to. Besides,
MS: What do you think of the idea that your musical collages work almost like conversations or interactions between songs and between instruments? TS: I like that idea very much. Music at its very roots is a conversation and if you have ever played in a group you find out pretty quickly that the same rules of verbal discourse between people apply equally to a band playing together. So to that extent I like my music collages to sound as if they were being played by an utterly curious and bizarre assembly of musicians. Actually, I think all art composition is a sort of conversation. MS: Do you find that the sound of an instrument can sometimes say more than words could? Does instrumental work represent more possibilities for interpretation? TS: It’s easy for me to think that way as I have a sort of synesthesia.That I see music as very structural as one might a painting or image, or indeed a sequence of moving images. But I also know the very profound feeling one can get from a chord (and again here I’d say that the feelings in a lot of modern processed music are somewhat contrived, more neurological than spiritual/emotional).
But with my music work I do tend to go for something that does work on a certain level as a sort of soundtrack for a film. I’d like it to convey something visual, not just to my own synesthetic sense, but to others as well. Although I have my own film in mind when creating the work, I invite an audience to conceive of their own film when listening to it. So yes, I think music is entirely open to interpretation in a way that other art forms are perhaps less so. In fact the “Blue” in the title “Bluewaltzforyou” refers in part to the idea of a blue screen sort of thing onto which the listener projects their own sequence. MS: Were you influenced by Charles Ives and/or the Dadaists? TS: Yes indeed. I absolutely love Charles Ives. The basis of his work seems to be about “sound” – in his case the ultimate “American sound” – but also the way he would layer music in a curious collage-like way, where appropriated phrases would have a menetic effect from one section to the other. And with the Dadaists there is the embracing of the aleatoric element in creation which I welcome in my work. I might be looking for a particular horn sound or something like that, but in looking, stumble on something else I hadn’t thought of at all which works really well, is pitched nicely, is well tempered and toned, and so on it goes. It amazes me sometimes, the chance of that. But it’s an openness to chance rather than complete surrender to it. However, I once did a performance event at St. Martin’s College of Art in London of four turntables mixing together a bunch of random records I would grab with barely any time to make a choice, each one for just a little bit. It was completely Dada and worked amazingly well. MS: You work in many different media, but collage seems to be a constant. What draws you to collage work?
TS: There is a passage in the “Upanishads” which goes something like this: “When we go to sleep, we take with us the things of the day and tear them up and recombine them. We dream by our own light and in doing so become a creator.” When I first came upon that passage as a student it struck a chord which has stayed with me ever since. And coming back to your first question, it seems to me that collage is an excellent metaphor for how one perceives and imagines, so it is for me a useful medium to explore that aspect of the human experience which lies at the root of my practice. The challenge for me though has been to take this very ubiquitous and all too often derivative style of art and make something of it that is completely identifiable as my own. MS: What are the advantages of visual collages and what are the advantages of musical collages for your ultimate artistic goals? TS: Last summer I contributed a piece of music collage to a group show in London (“Zeitgeist Summer Show,“ curated by Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley). The piece of music was cut to a seven-inch dubplate and playable through headphones attached to a wall-mounted vertical turntable which hung alongside all the 2-D work in the gallery. It was quite unusual, but certainly fun for people to put on the headphones and enter a different world for bit within the gallery setting. At the end of the day, perhaps art in general is visual, and try as I might to incorporate the visual in the way that I do, it might just be too much of an anomaly and something that can never more than sit alongside my practice. It’s tricky. Nevertheless I have been encouraged to do more music works since starting up again this year, and I brought down from London recently a new turntable for my studio in France. I’ll see what I can find in some of the brocantes around here.
Page 143, Top: Spital Fields, 2011, Landscape Collage Page 143, Bottom: Coliseum, English National Opera, 2011, Landscape Collage
INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ERT ARDGRA H V E ROB
ELIZABETH PERRY: I understand you were born in California, grew up in Arizona, and now live in Seattle, Washington. Do you feel your background and history in the midwest/west coast area has influenced your work significantly? ROBERT HARDGRAVE: Certainly. When I first moved to the Northwest 20 years ago, I was immediately drawn to the Tlingit work. It’s graphic beauty was the hook, but it has so much meaning connected to this area, it’s hard to ignore. In the past few years I have revisited the work from the Navajo and Hopi and found the same sort of visual power connected to the Southwest. EP: What was growing up like for you? How did you become involved in art, and did you ever receive formal training in art or graphic design? RH: Suburban conservative family life was the flavor of my youth. I spent a lot of time by myself making things up to entertain myself. Drawing was not something I spent too much time doing. I was more interested in mixing stuff from the bathroom cabinet together to see what happened and destroying electronic devices to find out what was inside. The only art book I remember studying was a Norman Rockwell anthology at my aunt’s house. We had a couple of landscape paintings, which my grandmother had painted at some point, but I never saw her paint. EP: I believe my love of creativity began with skateboarding. Finding lines in backyard pools, shoving my trucks over painted curbs and carving the length of ditches was the first time I felt the need to progress and develop a “style”. The way I draw now compared to the way I skated are almost parallel in the effort and dedication. RH: I never went to art school, but did attend a two-year graphic design program where I learned how to process my images digitally and present my work on the Internet. The three or four illustration classes included with that degree were not difficult, which allowed me to explore other design elements more deeply. EP: You consider yourself to be an “improvisational” artist. What does this mean to you? RH: Improvisation for me is setting up my workflow so anything can happen. I enjoy several different processes in the studio and can overlap the techniques throughout my work. By starting something new every day, I stave off boredom by switching it up.
EP: Your website describes your works as “meditations on the unpredictability of life.” How would you describe this unpredictability, and why do you feel your work is concerned with it? How does your work react to the “unknown,” or perhaps achieve “clarity,” as you mention, and how are these processes important to you as an artist? RH: There are many things in life, which are uncontrollable. By following my process into the directions it takes me reflects this aspect of the “unknown.” I want to be surprised with how the work progresses. Spending most of my time thinking and producing work, this allows my practice to develop at an accelerated rate, ideas generate past the initial concept into more concrete expressions. Different media contain their own nuances. Finding what that is takes time and a lot of experimentation. The finished work is evidence of this “clarity”. EP: What is “mixed” media for you? In addition to ink, paint, and water colors, your mixed media works combine more unusual materials, such as thread, crayon, burlap, and mulberry paper. How did you begin working with these materials, and with thread specifically? What do you feel you gain from working with them? RH: Mixed media can be anything. It is fun to isolate new media to see its capabilities. Paying attention to how materials work in various ways gives you access to their hidden treasures. I began using thread to combine what I had considered failed paintings into objects with new life. Collage was my gateway media to come to this realization. While I initially just wanted to put things together with thread it became clear that drawing with the machine was what I need to do next. Who knows what it might be next. I will continue to explore the possibilities with thread because I know there is more it can do. EP: What are the advantages or disadvantages to working on materials like burlap and mulberry versus canvas or paper? RH: The difference between burlap and canvas are the weaves. Canvas is a much tighter weave and is easy to apply paint to. It takes much more paint to get burlap to accept paint. The holes between the weave are much larger and it bleeds through to the back. When I paint on burlap I tend to put other materials behind it, typically paper, to soak up the leftover paint. Mulberry is just another type of paper. Its soft and fibrous, which I appreciate because of the drag it produces when you pull ink over the top of it. Burlap has the same qualities.
EP: Your work appears largely unplanned and dedicated to “discovery.” Can you describe your artistic process, from initial concept to finished piece? Does your process vary greatly when you are making a collage versus another type of art (painting, ink drawing, etc.)? RH: Discovery is the best part of making things. I will change up my process from piece to piece to keep that discovery happening. Within everything I make the process is adjusted to make something different happen. Collage is quite versatile. At the moment I am playing with Xerox transfers that are built as a collage first, then pasted to the substrate. EP: The color schemes and geometric patterns of your works, such as Black Olive and Dick, lend your art a distinctly urban and almost tribal feel. Can you talk about these characteristics? RH: Those two pieces were made at the same time. I began them by soaking the paper in diluted coffee. After that I painted marks on plastic paper and “printed” the marks onto the paper to build a structure. They sat for several months before applying more to them. They were both begging for collage so I obliged. I haven’t made any other work like those. Primitive or cultural art from far off regions are my favorite things to look to. EP: A notable shift seems to have occurred in your work between the earlier 2000s and now, from the presence of smoother, more fluid designs to your more recent use of straight edges and pointed shapes. Can you talk about this shift, and its potential significance? RH: Somewhere along that timeline I pushed past that initial “smooth, rounded line” work into what I am making now. It had probably worked its way through my system. I also make much more work now that I did then. At the time it seemed I needed to stay with a technique to keep money in my pocket. When that money dried up with the economy it enabled me to not care what came out. I am certainly happier with my work despite the fact that I only earn enough to sustain my practice. EP: The collage, Mahjong, from 2009 strikes me. Can you talk about the materials involved in this piece, the process you underwent to create it, and its potential significance for you? RH: Mahjong was a pivotal work. It is the piece where the sewing idea came into play. I made that collage figure by just gluing left over papers together without attach-
ing it to a substrate. Once it was framed it lost that open aspect to it. I started sewing left over canvas together as a result and displaying them without the typical rectangle backing. The wall it was displayed on became the substrate, allowing much more space to exist around the work. EP: Your work tends to veer away from the traditionally nostalgic, object-heavy notion of collage by combining colors, shapes, and textures rather than concrete or familiar images. What does “collage” signify for you? How do you feel your works relate to the larger genre of collage? RH: I would have to say my collage relates more to painting than how the concept of collage began. From what I see, the collage concept that is typically used by people incorporates found materials from used magazines and books to create a “surreal” experience. I have a rule where I can’t use found materials to make collages. I have to generate my own materials to build my collages. I don’t want my work to feel surreal. I am much more interested in other styles of work. Primitive, modern, obsessive, “outsider,” etc. are my preferred genres. EP: Do you feel there is a thread or theme that unifies your works, or does each piece exist as its own entity or as part of a smaller sub-group? Do you feel your personal life plays a significant role in your work? RH: The common thread is definitely true. My work is built around experience. I would also state that at times my work is built around a closed system where arrival of ideas come from something new that happens in the work. There are certain groupings of work that are close relatives, but over all I feel the work is a progression in technique which sometimes travels backwards to revisit previous ideas. EP: Your work has received attention in various forms, through publications as well as exhibitions. What is your ideal exhibition setting? Can you talk a bit about your monograph, Magic Beans? RH: Exhibitions are fantastic when I am able to present work, which has a definite theme, or are a collection of works that exemplify a progression. Magic Beans was a collaborative effort with ROJO Magazine. I designed the book and they published it. It turned out beautifully and it is something I am certainly proud to share. It is a pocketsized book with all pictures and no words. I dedicated it to the family of the individual whose kidney I am using. I
PAGE 146: BADLANDS< 2013, COLLAGE, INK, GRAPHITE, TEMPERA ABOVE: UNTITLED, 2012, BURLAP, GOUACHE, ACRYLIC
have never searched for that family, but I feel better about my contribution to the Northwest as a result.
EP: How do you feel your engagement with art has evolved, personally as well as professionally? What can we anticipate from you in the future?
EP: What is “contemporary abstraction” in your opinion? RH: I am unable to speak for other people, but for me it is a synthesis of the past, future and now. An ability to process many influences into something new, or at least new for me. I am constantly borrowing from others. It get’s mixed together with all the other things I have borrowed and becomes my form of contemporary abstraction.
RH: I find it exciting to share with other makers. There are many ideas that can cross-pollinate within a community. It’s important for this to happen. It helps us all grow to be stronger people if we can challenge each other. What can you anticipate from me in the future? That’s a question I am constantly asking myself. Hopefully it will be work, which inspires others and opens doors to new ideas.
ABOVE: SHIPYARD, 2013, INK AND COLLAGE PAGE 151: HAIRPIN, 2013, COLLAGE, INK, ACRYLIC, THRE
INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH PERRY
ELIZABETH PERRY: I understand you grew up in Japan, and that you consider your background to have had a significant impact on you and your art. Can you talk about that impact, and how specifically you feel your background has influenced your work? MAYUJO FUJINO: Its biggest influence on me is the mixture of rational and irrational ideas in the society, and how natural it is for people there to accept it. It seems to me to be often the case that for Japanese people contradictions are not necessarily conflicts and merge without a problem. For example, I used to work at a data center which stored servers for Internet companies in Tokyo. All the systems and the layout of the building were designed based on reason, anticipating all the possible accidents and taking measures to protect against them. At the same time we had a Kamidana, a miniature Shinto altar to worship both the animistic spirits of nature and the ancestors in our office, and it was our job to make an offering to it every morning in order to protect the data center. It was interesting to see those two ideas based on completely different approaches existing together with nobody feeling strange about it. It indicated that there was a primitive fear and respect towards nature remaining among people who humbly feel there is always something you can’t control no matter how clever and highly developed you are. Rationality can’t defeat a sense of awe, and this is where irrationality gets its power like in dreams, where things lose clear meanings and the notion of cause and effect. It is a different layer of reality where an alternate logic rules like it does in Lewis Carroll’s wonderland. I feel like my art comes from that kind of place. EP: A self-taught artist, you developed your style largely through experimentation. How did you become interested in art? Did you come from an artistic family? How do you feel your lack of “formal instruction” has influenced your art or career? MF: There weren’t any artists in my family, but my mother had an appreciation of art and enjoyed making little things. I still remember that she made some tiny clay figures of houses, woods and a lake with swans in it, and painted them with watercolors when I was 4 years old.
It felt like magic to me to see her materialize those images. The biggest inspiration which made me interested in art as a child were the visuals in the Beatles’ film “Yellow Submarine” created by Heinz Edelmann; I was completely fascinated by them. I guess I’m one of those people who were born stubborn and don’t read manuals. I enjoy learning from trial and error, getting lost and figuring out a way, for that’s what making art is about anyway. I felt comfortable not having formal instruction, since it would allow me enough time to spend on experimentation until I could get fully satisfied without anybody telling me what’s right or wrong. EP: You mention in your artist statement that the dual nature of Japanese paper cutart is something you’ve found appealing, and which plays a role in your work’s ability to blur similar distinctions between reality and fantasy, order and chaos, and consciousness and unconsciousness. How do you feel your work incorporates this duality, aesthetically or thematically? MF: Paper cutout is a technique with many restrictions which makes it not a spontaneous process for me. You need to be very conscious of your decisions as to which part of the paper you keep and let go, since once you cut it off you can’t put it back. The composition is planned beforehand; things are in control on this level. You know what’s going on here (or at least you think you do.) However, when it is put together with a collage underneath, all those clearcut lines get fuzzy and what is illustrated sometimes becomes obscure. If it gets too fuzzy, it would just end up as a mess, so it’s important to find the point of balance between construction and destruction, and the former is the main role of the paper cutout in my work. It’s like grammar in language. You can play around with it, and it is fun, but if there’s too much messing around, nobody understands what you are talking about. EP: Your art relies on intricate paper cutout designs superimposed on collage made from magazine pages. By combining collage with paper cutout art, you completely transform original magazine images from concrete depictions of objects, people, and places into pure representations of colors and textures. How does this idea of aes-
thetic transformation play a thematic role in your work? MF: I recently read an interesting article describing children’s parody song structures and classifications and how in those songs several contexts tangle, split and dissolve, and then create another world that often opposes the one in the originals, playing around with words and images of death and sex in a humorous way. It immediately reminded me of a funny and uneasy scene from Samuel Beckett’s novel Watt, in which the main character loses his sense of order in language when he tries to explain what he experienced, and starts speaking back to front, inverting the order of the words in sentences and the order of letters in words so that his listener misses a large part of his story. It happens because he is trying to speak about something unspeakable. I think these images of the parody songs and the scene in Watt are similar to what I pursue in making collages, since it is also an act of disassembling a context and creating another one. What I keep in mind when working on this layer is to not take too much control of it and let it lead me to where it goes. EP: Traditional influences are evident in many of your works. You’ve also created works like Radio Zombies and the “Arikui Abduction” series, which have distinctly contemporary images and feelings. Can you talk about these dimensions to you work? Do you ever encounter a conflict in your art between traditional influences and modern expression? MF: I don’t think I ever encountered conflict. Clearly I am one of the descendents of those people who got excited by the Western culture coming into 19th century Japan, and happily wore Western shoes with traditional kimonos. There was a popular Japanese vaudeville group influenced by the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton I like from the pre-WWII era called “Akireta Boys” (Unbelievable Boys) who played a mixture of Jazz, Western pop music, Latin music, Japanese traditional narrative singing, Kabuki plays, along with mimicking Popeye, Disney films and Buddhist chants. There’ve always been people like them and they made me feel it natural to combine different elements together from the beginning. EP: Many of your pieces tell powerful stories and evoke significant emotions, such as Limbo, which depicts two figures separated by a body of red water, and Birthday Party, which features a series of interconnected tree figures. Do you feel yourself consciously shaping these almost folklike narratives while you work, or do they tend to come out of the creative process itself?
MF: The stories always come out of the creative process. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s really going on there myself, even though it is visually clear to me. It usually takes some time for me to figure it out after I make it. As for Limbo, for example, all I know about the story at this point is that those three people sitting around the red pond have been waiting for the person asleep in the water for a long time. The stories generate themselves. I am not interested in lucid dreams. I’d rather like to listen to what the dreams tell me, instead of trying to take control of them. The same thing applies to the narratives in my art. Images are bigger, richer and deeper than my ego so I want to dig them out as unfiltered as possible. EP: Several of your works, such as Anteater Trumpeter and WFMU’s War on Christmas, are distinctly playful and whimsical relative to your other work. How do you feel these pieces relate to your work overall? MF: I think my making art resembles playing. Perhaps because my ideas and point of view have many roots in my childhood. I feel familiar with the process illustrated in Floor Games by H.G. Wells. He precisely describes what kinds of toys and material work great in games, and says “Upon such a floor may be made an infinitude of imaginative games, not only keeping boys and girls happy for days together, but building up a framework of spacious and inspiring ideas in them for after life. The men of tomorrow will gain new strength from nursery floors.” I suppose those whimsical characters who sometimes make appearances in my work have a similar role as stuffed animals do for children. Those animals’ humorous existence gives children a secure feeling and helps them confront fear and anxiety they face while growing up, and that’s also how they work for me while making art. EP: Contrast seems to play a significant role in your art. How do you use color and texture contrast to convey meaning in your work? MF: My usage of color and texture on the collage layer acts in several ways on the paper cutout layer. First, it complements the paper cutout to expand its atmosphere. I select collage pieces with content that develops what is illustrated in the paper cutout. Then the collage disassociates from the paper cutout. I select collage materials with content that is irrelevant to the paper cutout in order to create a different context underneath and tell two stories at once. The third way is to have no clear context, a chaotic mixture of colors and textures. It is in tune with the paper cutout sometimes, but clashes with it at others.
Generally, I have all of these three methods in one piece, although the balance between them differs from piece to piece. Viewers can see different images in one piece depending on where they focus, and I am trying to give them the feeling of going back and forth between the two layers. EP: All of your work, according to your biography, is created with paper, magazine pages, and a cutting knife. What kind of paper do you use, and why? MF: I use Arches Cover 250g paper now, it’s a little too thick for paper cutouts but holds collages well, and I like its texture. I often use Marie Claire Maison and Maxim for the colors and textures of their beautiful and/or vibrant photos, and their pages have a comfortable thickness for me to handle.They provide images of welldistributed fantasies in our world: material wealth and sex. I feel like a kid up to some mischief and doodling on her textbook when I tear those images into pieces and make them into nonsense, or transform them. I have tried some other materials such as bark, beads, threads in the past, and I am sure I will do some other media in the future as well. EP: What struggles have you encountered as an emerging artist? Do you feel your personal life plays a meaningful role in your work or its narratives, and if so how? MF: The effort I have made coping with dissociative disorders I have suffered for decades resulting from a traumatic experience in childhood has played a big role in my work and its narratives. Starting to make my own art has offered me valuable insight into obtaining a positive worldview, and has transformed the struggle into
a creative process that is exciting and joyful rather than painful. Being truthful is the key to creating something truly meaningful, but it is not an easy thing, even when you don’t mean to lie because of conscious/unconscious self protection. It takes real strength and patience to get rid of one’s defenses but that is what I have been trying to accomplish as an artist. EP: You describe a kind of transcendence, a momentary “feeling of bliss,” which comes from your work’s ability to blur physical layers and ideological distinctions. Are there any other ways you have of conjuring this feeling besides through art? Why is it important to you? MF: Standing very still among many little birds, listening to creaking noises that trees make on a windy day, dancing all night long, etc. These experiences make me feel like I vanish and stop being myself and the joy expels the endless questions with no answers such as why I am me and you are you, why I keep on existing, why certain things happened in my life, and all the other whys that can’t even be verbalized. Makes me humble in good times and brings out the hidden primitive strength to get through in bad times. EP: What personal or professional aspirations do you have for your work in the future? MF: I want my art to become as honest as possible, beyond ego, self p rotection and fear.
PAGE 153: E CUT #4 (MELT), 2009, PAPER CUTOUT AND MAGAZINE PAGES COLLAGE PAGE 155: KINGS & WARRIORS (SONGPOST), 2013, PAPER CUTOUT AND MAGAZINE PAGES COLLAGE PAGE 157: THE DAY OF THE SEA, 2010, PAPER CUTOUT AND MAGAZINE PAGES COLLAGE
Eddie Yuen aka Eddie Yuen L&b.el Inwardness, 2011, Collage
SEGOVIA INTERVIEW BY KIERAN DONNAN
KIERAN DONNAN: Tell us a little about the process of creating your pieces and how you arrived at this form of working? LHS: I was making dinner one night on a small stovetop grill made of woven metal strips when I had an epiphany. As the grill turned red over the fire, I realized that the modernist painting search for universals was actually premodern, pre-historic even, and it was the grid of weaving. The most basic weaving technique is found in textiles from all cultures around the world! So art history, graduate school discussions, conceptual development, and material qualities all coalesced into one simple idea: weave the painting. Initially I made two small one-sided pieces before realizing the backside was also woven and a potential composition. The next few pieces were small material explorations. These works are cut-up paintings on paper, woven together in new compositions. It was important to arrive at the thinnest strip width that held enough painterly information while retaining structural strength to withstand manual weaving. This is conceptually important in terms of retaining, yet arresting and rearticulating, painterly gestures. I used glue at the beginning to hold the ends in place, but I wanted to push possible connotations and thread came into play. All “Papel tejido” pieces are now hemmed and they’re all made by hand from start to finish. I start by painting both sides of a sheet of paper, then cutting it into ¼-inch strips with a straight edge and utility knife, then weaving on a slanted table I rigged up from the wall, and finally hemming. KD: Do you plan these differences on each side or are they happy accidents? LHS: Both sides are planned. The first thing is to set a color palette for each side. Depending on the show I’m working on, I may plot a tartan sequence on one side and execute an ikat fade on the other. Often, though, the color palette I started with bores me, and that’s when I throw a curveball color in. I think of it as a contrapuntal beat in music. I try to make each piece as diverse as the last within the physical and conceptual restraints of the “Papel tejido” body of work. While there are formal similarities for pieces within a given show, I hope the work evolves over time. KD: In “Paisajes en tierra caliente” and “Primeras frutas,” you have created a new type of texture to your art in your installations and Papel tejido. Can you explain the transition from ambient painting to more physical texture?
LHS: Transitions between bodies of work are not so clear-cut for me because I often work on multiple projects at the same time, over a long period of time—often years. The “Paisajes en tierra caliente” and “Primeras frutas” overlapped, a few of them were done at the same time, so they share the color palette and acrylic ink. What prompted me to do the “Paisajes en tierra caliente” is a self-conscious awareness of my labor condition. I was driving a beat-up white Ford Ranger at the time while still in grad school at Otis School of Art and Design. I became all too aware of many fellow commuters in their white trucks loaded with gardening tools, most of them Latino immigrants like myself. I found myself in a rarefied academic environment and I decided to paint small landscapes, a “lower class” painting genre, as a solidarity gesture. I saw a relationship between gardening and painting plants, different discursive registers and labor economies, but both aiming to manufacture a representation of nature. The “Primeras frutas” are the first body of work I worked on after finishing graduate school, as a professional. They are important for theological reasons. As a Christian, I practice tithing, and offering. While I am not harvesting grain for the first fruit offerings of the Old Testament, I am a painter and these are my first fruits as it were. The imagery consists of Christian symbolism, such as a white dove for the Holy Spirit, our church building, instruments for worship. They belong to Venice Foursquare Church in Venice, California, where my wife and I attended church at the time. KD: How did the physical aspect of your new work change in how you can communicate? LHS: The “Papel tejidos” came while still working on the “Primeras frutas” and the first few are roughly the same size as the wood panels for the paintings. The paintings are filled with tiny details. I thought the weaving texture itself would be the detail so that opened up the rest of the image to painterly gestures and general compositional approach. Recent “Papel tejidos” are bigger, up to 110 x 146 inches, and that enhances that atmospheric quality of the work while maintaining attention to surface, texture, and materials. The most recent “Papel tejido” pieces are guided by the idea that abstraction and representation are two sides of the same coin. Every representation is an abstraction and every abstraction is a representation. I think that even the most self-referential tautologies in art represent a certain ideology, education system, even class. I also think the most direct representational imagery is abstracted to a degree through its mannerism, style, and presentation.
KD: You have mentioned the importance of Christianity in your work. How do the “Papel tejido” artworks influence and evoke these feelings, and in what way can you see these being reinvigorated? LHS: This is a tough question—one I haven’t solved and continue to address in my work. The first clear iteration of Christian content in the “Papel tejidos” happened for a show at CB1 Gallery in January 2012. All pieces in that show had crosses in them, the cross being structurally inherent in the weaving technique and also a Christian symbol. The installation was set up as if it were a village where the pieces up front had architectonic imagery resembling church steeples and a piece at the back had a cross in a heart. This created a sort of travel from public, civic Christianity to private faith. My next show at CB1 opens this December 2013. The work for that exhibition is mostly sculptural—tall wooden poles covered in woven cord emblazoned with various geometric shapes, words, and Christian symbols. They resemble scepters or staffs and are titled “Cetros.” There also is a large “Papel tejido,” the largest yet, a large painting, and other smaller pieces. It’s an eclectic show. I’m interested in how various peoples have interpreted Christianity and in the many ways that faith is manifest and made physical. I am making a move away from a readily coded Protestant visual language, away from clichés, but I still want to speak about Christianity and not about religion or spirituality as a vague general mood. It’s a difficult task.
KD: As I mentioned before, there is a certain ambience and distant clearness in your art, especially in a close look at the “Papel tejido” images. There also seems to be so much reflection about the smallest aspects of the larger patterns. How can you explain these inner complexities and how do you see these details in the wider aspect of pattern and overall image? LHS: These weavings are made a square quarter-inch at a time, so every detail seems huge to me while I’m working on a piece. I work on a slanted table rigged from a wall and roll the pieces under it as they get longer. I can only see about eighteen inches at a time and I cannot see the backside until the piece is done. This situation forces me to track what I paint and weave so I can keep a mental image of what’s going on compositionally. KD: How do you see the texture of your work changing in the future? There are many tiny intimate layerings within what you have presented, and even by themselves they seem to have a message. Do you intend to stay within the broader field of tapestry or explore these minor details even further? LHS: I will continue to develop the “Papel tejido” work along the representation/abstraction duality for a few more pieces. I will also continue the “Cetros.” I think those bodies of work are open-ended and can have many manifestations. I am currently in the middle of illustrating a children’s book using hand-made stuffed dolls and dioramas. I’m exploring minor details in a new genre. We’ll see what comes next. I enjoy exploring and trying new things.
PAGE 159: Papel tejido 38 (Recto), 2012, Acrylic on paper PAGE 161, Top Left and Right: Papel tejido 39 (Recto + Verso), 2012, Acrylic on paper PAGE 161, Bottom Left AND Right: Papel tejido 34 (Recto + VerSO), 2012, Acrylic on paper
RAINTREE CHIM Page 163: Batman with Wallpaper, 2013, Digital Collage Top Left:What Have I Done?, 2013, Digital Collage Top Right: The Look, 2013, Digital Collage Bottom Left: Waiting for the Next Peace Age, 2012, Digital Collage Page 165: 2 Cuts, 2013, Digital Collage
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE The 22 features 22 contributors each issue. The magazineâ€™s mission is to publish art, music, and writing as integrated structures that play off each other and enhance the whole. We are looking for intriguing art, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, video, music, animation, and more. The restrictions are few and the work is chosen by the creators or a visiting guest editor/curator. Many of our volumes revolve around themes which will be posted in advance of each issue. Our staff is currently volunteer based and we are always looking for great people. Please check out our jobs page if you are interested in volunteering for the 22. VISIT OUR WEBSITE www.the22magazine.com VISIT OUR BLOG www.the22blog.com NETWORK www.facebook.com/pages/The-22-Magazine/138959862781232 www.twitter.com/The22Magazine SUBMISSIONS www.the22magazine.com/Pages/submissions GET INVOLVED www.the22magazine.com/Pages/currentprojects www.the22magazine.com/Pages/jobs
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The final volume of The 22 Magazine, Volume 4 focuses on collage in many forms. Featuring work from: Aaron Beebe, Alexandra Bellimissimo, An...
Published on Feb 3, 2014
The final volume of The 22 Magazine, Volume 4 focuses on collage in many forms. Featuring work from: Aaron Beebe, Alexandra Bellimissimo, An...