Kolaj Magazine has proclaimed Saturday to be World Collage Day. Celebratory events are happening all around the world, so you may want to check to see if there is something planned for your area. Or plan one for yourself! Hopefully people will also use the #worldcollageday hashtag and post their work online that day.If you're unfamiliar with the magazine, and you're intrigued by collage, it's worth seeking out and/or subscribing. Besides in-depth articles and reviews, each issue typically includes a few fun cut-out pages for you to literally take apart and consider for use in your next collage.For their World Collage Day Special Edition, the magazine included profiles of 14 artists along with a cut-out page for each. I'm happy to have been included (even though cutting is not generally part of my methodology, as I'm a ripper of materials).The cut-out page that I submitted reflects what I most like to work with: chunks of color, texture and pattern... in this case ripped and roughly organized in a grid. Happy World Collage Day! Of course, nearly every day is a happy collage day in my estimation!
Over 100 artists who work in the collage and/or assemblage mediums have joined a Ning Network website to post and discuss their work. This project was begun by Cecil Touchon in association with the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction so that members of the museum's email group and community can share their work and ideas in a more multi-media environment. If you are working in these mediums (or simply interested in them), the site is a resource with nearly every kind of work imaginable.
Full disclosure: I have recently started to moderate the site and try to keep it clear of spam. (Where do all these spammers come from?!) The good part is that I'm visiting more often and seeing some really amazing work, a real treat, plus being exposed to the breadth and depth of work these artists are creating.
I wanted to share this commentary about ongoing creative endeavors and our "new year" mentality... I was amazed to read about the artist Carmen Herrera in the New York Times last week. However, it was this column that really put her tenacity into perspective:
Portrait of an artist as an old woman: Do what you love - The Boston Globe by Beverly Beckham, December 27, 2009. Worth reading! "If the world had never known her, would her life and her work have meant less? Not to her."
So many of us have creative pursuits of one sort or another. Let's keep at it in 2010 -- and beyond -- no regrets!
My collage below, titled "Time flies," was created in 2004 (proving, for me at least, that time does fly...) and measures 12 x 12 x 1," composed of contemporary papers and recycled imagery on wood panel.
Last Thursday I went to a meeting of the Open Shelf Book Club at the Museum of Contemporary Art | Denver. Jasper de Beijer was discussing books and media that have influenced his work, now on view in the museum's Paper Works Gallery. The book he selected for our discussion next time is Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine... he talked about the one-dimensional thinking it exposes and mentioned that it is a somewhat difficult read. He said it was like "staring into the abyss of the soul..."
Several of us went up to the gallery afterwards and saw the show. His work is amazing. It was great to be able to ask him questions about his process. He builds representations of something that interests him and that he has studied -- using digital imagery, modelling, and some collage techniques -- and then photographs the models. Some of his models are on display along with a lot of the photographs. I was most taken with a series of 3-dimensional heads that he had collaged imagery onto -- busts of men who had suffered shell shock in WWI. The patched-together, collaged, 3D heads are quite interesting themselves but the photographic treatment flattens the imagery and really conveys their wounds and emptiness. The photo at top left is a detail from one of the heads to show how the imagery is joined... he said he mostly uses spray adhesive. If you click here, you can see his body of work and the larger image this detail comes from.
He talked a lot about our dis-association with photographed images from history. "...de Beijer has been reconstructing imagery that has become autonomous in the course of history, using existing sources to create a new reality." So then, what is "real"?