Monday, 19 November 2007

Collage techniques

Detail, Water spray and a low sun,
Mixed media collage, 40x30cm

... by Gerald Brommer (Watson-Guptill, 1994) is the title of my latest art book acquisition. I've been browsing through it and have been enjoying it very much so far.

The book features the works of many different (North-American) collage artists and starts off with an exploration into attitudes, materials, and techniques.

Rather than doing a proper book review - too close to my day job - here are a few of the eye-opening sentences from the introduction of the book. So, let me quote extensively (;))

Artists explore abstract, representational, semiabstract and nonobjective imagery through a variety of collage techniques. In some ways, collage lends itself best to dynamic and vibrant treatments of abstract and nonobjective imagery. Yet, as soon as I say those words, a transparency of a representational image jars my senses with its sheer beauty and simplicity. Collage is a layering of thoughs and ideas as well as of paper, fabric, glue, and paint. As they work, collagists amass history and emotion along with their gathered collage materials, and viewers add yet another layer of meaning. (p. 9)

Brommer continues further along this line of layering, adding history and presence:

The very gathering of materials is a historical process, and collages might even be considered biographies of the lives of the artists-or even as historical artefacts themselves. Collage artists often speak of providing a second life for found papers and objects... (ibid)

And so he writes on, and I am finding resonances with some of my previous thoughts and practice; e.g. in the way that findings enter works (see an earlier post on this here), but also how imagery are captured, mediated and transformed into something different, (as in this post on work flow).

Detail, Water spray and a low sun,
Mixed media collage, 40x30cm

The very idea of working with discarded, recycled, and found materials is working away in the background of my mind as a way of asking all my friends in far away places to send me some of their found papers and materials to be brought together in something new... oh, there seems to be another project for the future.


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