An early work of mine from Composition XXfour
Most of the time I am using this blog to locate information about collage. I don't usually voice my own opinion on collage or art in general. But today I feel like taking it over for myself!
Why collage? Why not painting? drawing? I can do both. Painting and drawing seem to be more validated in the art world, in galleries. Painters are revered demi-gods of creativity above their collage counterparts. I wonder about whether this is all in my mind or if it is a reality for us all?? I have painted before, and pen and ink was my favorite medium for years. But now I have turned to taking bits of my life and pasting them together rather than painting my vision. I was not an exceptional painter,as I can use colored pencil and pen and ink better than watercolor or acrylic. I never had a chance to try oil...seeing how I am self taught and never really tried. But from the first time I tried collage, from the very first pages in that first journal, I felt at home.
So, in the beginning, it was just a matter of timing. Doing one painting took me 15 hours at least to do something of quality. I had kids, a full time job. 15 hours to create one vision, it just wasn't expressing enough for me. I felt as tho there was a dam that would burst and i should implode. To date, I have done hundreds of collages. So many different design experiments I have been able to try. It is a relief to express it all. Prolific I can be, in this medium.
After finally being able to get some feelings onto paper, the collages began to take on new challenges. I was pretty haphazard at first, being influenced by photomontages of Shirin and Hannah Hoch. I was into the randomness and freedom of collage. But, as I grew into my own groove, I could see my own style changing and developing. My love of type and all things "letter" started to manifest itself. Graffiti and its typographic twisting appealed to me and I began to peel it off the streets and infest my work with it. The free form appeal of collage changed, and I began to take over the pictures, creating scenes of my own with bits, rather than letting the scene create itself.
It is like walking a fine line, to get something to look random, but purposeful at the same time. To take disparate objects and put them together. I like the contrast. Smooth, rough. Shiny, matte. Black and white. With collage art, I am able to use all this and more, to create my vision. It's the best of all worlds. I can paint or not. I can draw, or not. I can rip. cut. tear. shred. dice. and slice. or not.
I look at art in galleries online, and I read about other peoples' work. I don't know where this "collage is lesser" opinion of mine is coming from. My personal insecurity about the quality of my painting? I wonder about it lately. Regardless of the answer, I am a collage artist. It fits me like a glove. My talent is in melding things together that once were apart. I gather pieces of life from here and there, sort them, re-arrange them and make them mine. both in my mind and on paper. What other medium can translate this like a collage>???
Post Persecuted, another piece of mine, 2005