Collage with a Romanian Flavor

Hocus-Pocus 18" x 14" mixed media on masonite February 2008
This collagist is a well-rounded artist born in Romania. In 1990, Florin Ion Firimita relocated to the US to pursue his interest in the arts. He has both a film and photography background, and collage is just one of his many talents. I was particularly drawn to his use of modern imagery. Due to US copyright constraints, there's so much vintage ephemera to be found in collage. It's refreshing to see different images being used!!!

The Death of Summer
30" x 24"
mixed media on wood 2007
Florin's pieces hint to various themes, and uses images to connect the dots. In The Death of Summer, there's a shadow of fall leaves in the upper left corner...In Hocus Pocus, it's the title connecting me to the hand image...I like to be able to discern just what it is the artist is getting at. Florin does a fine job at that communication thing. It's one thing to make something worth gazing at, it's quite another to relay a message along with it.
I also further impressed with his assemblage work. There's some compelling work on his site.
His work can be viewed further here.

assemblage on antique cutting board


Bjorn Copeland

I am really digging the collages of New York artist and musician Bjorn Copeland. His work is energetic and pulsates with color and pattern. The images he uses are dissected, rearranged and bombarded with sharp angles and rainbow colored grids. I also really like what I’ve heard of his band Black Dice, a kind of a wild experimental noise band. He also makes some perplexingly cool found object sculptures.

Goodie bag - 2004

Money Shot - 2006

Here’s some links if you like his work:
Daniel Reich Gallery, China Art Objects, Jack Hanley Gallery
picture book Gore on amazon
black dice on myspace

Cinema Split - 2008


Cuttings from UK - Mark Lazenby

Mark Lazenby is a collagist extraordinaire from across the pond in the UK. You can gaze and drool over his images on his site. I found that he has a really nice and graphic feel to his work and the placement of the images really works for me...
Today I am feeling a bit organic, being that we are in the summer months with the best weather of the year at hand.
I really have been feeling like I need an
Excursion into the Mountains

I can hear the sound of the winds in the tree leaves, while I am surrounded by lush green I am thankful for a
Beautiful Tree

I sit back in the fields looking up at the sky and truly I can feel my
Ideas Taking Flight

There's so much to take in, I want to implode.
O Who Can Ever Gaze His Fill

All good things must come to an

Including this post.


Michele DeVous-Color Burst Collage

Michele is a collage artist that frequently posts her images on the flickr site. The first pieces I saw on her blog were super colorful and I was having a summer attitude just looking at these...
I went deeper into her photostream and found luscious reds blacks and whites, which is a personal color combo fave of mine.
She also had these crazy monotone pieces and the texture on these seems full and rich. (as usual, I wish I could touch it with my own hands and feel the layers...)

There's quite a variety of work online here on her flickr page. Michele has mentioned that she has her first solo gallery show coming up in September in St. Louis, MO. I hope that she will update us with more info as the time gets closer...

the Future of Collage Clearinghouse

If you read this blog much, you have already heard me sharing my thoughts on personal blogs, this blog, conversations on blogs, jealousy of blogs ad nauseum! I finally have a handle on what I need/should do and I hope this works for everyone!

The blog started as my dumping ground for all things collage. Galleries, artists, links, techniques, history ANYTHING that can relate to collage. As with any blog, I have spent a lot of time peppering the posts with my own work and a lot of my own comments. But truly, in the back of my mind, I really had wanted to start something that was more like an information clearinghouse, hence the blog title. Indeed, I think to some extent I ride the line internally about what I should post, how much personal stuff, do I need ads (since people actually write ME to ask me to post ads!) should I have others post, etc... After a bit of time and sorting I have decided what I should do.

I am going to keep this blog as a public service. Why not? It's taken a year and half to get to this point, and I think we need places like this to be able to hone in on our areas of concentration. Like a digital encyclopedia chapter, I hope that the Clearinghouse can be a place for artists to look and see the variety of fine art collage work being done out there, search for galleries that promote collage, and find the supplies and/or techniques that may be new to them. The blog format lends itself really well to a bit of information and some visuals. I tend to appreciate the visuals in blog posts a lot, and when I compare a dry, text filled newsgroup with a nicely designed blog that has photos, the blog is winnin'. Hands down.
I am also going to adapt things a little bit. I am going to stop posting so many personal pieces of own art and try to limit my own art exposure when it relates to the post. I think this would leave the blog more neutral and therefore, much more like a clearinghouse of information like I had envisioned. I am also planning on deleting the litte doingfine.org ad on the side. I am going to turn down any future ads, in the hopes of keeping things more informational, and not commercial.
I love the addition of Daniel Lee to the blog roster. It's been such a huge huge relief for me this past month as I had to go out of town for a week and I knew posting would be next to impossible. (thanks Daniel!) I think there is room for another poster, if someone is interested. I am going to get serious about dedicating myself to 2-3 posts a week. Along with Daniels contribution, this should keep enough content flowing that the blog is active, and interesting, and worth checking every few days. If anyone out there feels they have some little portion of themselves they can contribute, I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, the clearinghouse will carry on.
Finally, I will be starting up my own personal blog where I can go nuts posting my own work and my own thoughts without the worry of tainting the audience. I haven't started it yet, I am still looking around to see what product I want to use...Typepad, Blogger again, or what...
I really have enjoyed a lot of typepad blogs, they are easy to follow and the features it has seem popular. However, I have a need to strike out on my own (individuality runs deep!) and so I will probably use blogger again. When I am ready, I will post the link here on the Clearinghouse.

This should be an end to the silly blog drama over this last month. I want to send out a HUGE thank you to the wondrous Clearinghouse readers that have sent me private emails expressing similar views regarding the blogosphere, art, jealousy, etc.... It's hard to believe that lines of text sent thru the wire from people that I barely know can brighten my soul so much and provide me with a bit of hope. I really felt kind of insignificant and foolish about the things I wrote. Little did I know, so many of us suffer from blog overload. Thanks so much, you all know who you are!!!

Now let's get on with this thing called collage, shall we?


Working on LIttle books

Little Book 4
Originally uploaded by misphit
Meanwhile, as I trudge thru the path as an artist whining and complaining, I am still producing. Here's a sample of a silly little summer page.


Where my head is at

It has been a little while since I took a break from the daily collage blogging. At first, it was such a relief, and I am still thanking the bloggy Gods for sending Daniel Lee in to help! Then, I went on a week vacation and it was easy to not think of the clearinghouse...Now I have returned and I have done some mind sorting. I decided to write a little explanation of where my thoughts have turned over the last weeks and share some things that are more personal. I will bare some of my soul, but at least you will understand.
I don't know why this happens, but I must suffer from some sort of bombardment disease. I am fine and can do my own thing for a long time, but we all get that urge to surf the net. It's freakin' great! All the new stuff to see, new techniques, peoples' studios. Collaboratives, cooperatives, art sites, community, flickr, live journal. Blogs, galleries projects and news groups. It's all so lush and full of wondrous things I want to try, things I did try....And after awhile I am addicted to looking at it all. It's like a living magazine in front of me everyday that has changing content all tailored to me! I can view books today, collage tomorrow, and supplies after that.
But I am a sensitive individual, and it's something that I am only lately learning about myself. I get overwhelmed by all the information, the groups, the ideas...and eventually I am left with some very poor feelings. Some of them I am not proud of and they include jealousy for example. I get jealous of others and their progress, their notoriety, their galleries, their talents... It is insidious, I hate jealousy, but it eats at me in little doses and slowly it takes the enthusiasm out of what I do. I end up overwhelmed and insignificant. I end up not wanting to do any art at all. Unfortunately, this blog is part of that bombardment disease. I look up stuff for my own use, for your reading, to keep the blog alive, and then I end up depressed slowly, as I realize my smallness. I know we all have egos, we all have that urge to excel. I always had dreamed that I would do something important, my art would matter, and that somehow it was destined for me to be great. Well, as age keeps coming and my years are counted in bigger numbers, I start to realize the folly of that thinking. The internet reinforces these negative attitudes and before I know it I just can't do it anymore. I am probably not doing anything great. I am probably not going to do anything new and fascinating to anyone but myself! I am what I am and that is all.
I believed that collage was an art, not a craft. I believed that it was something special to be able to spin a tale with papers. Then reality again set in. Collage is viewed by many--even me at times-- as a secondary art, and copyright laws infringe upon our creativity. It's a very plagued medium in my mind, and I wince as I spend countless hours collecting, sorting, and pasting papers from every corner of my world. For what???? Certainly not to get famous at this point, and definitely not for money. I've been published 5 times and participated in a documentary on film. None of them paid me anything!! But I sure felt good.

I do art because I like to. I like to make something out of nothing. I like the little books I can make. I like the art on my homes' walls. I don't imagine anymore about who I think I am going to be, and now I am spending some time just being who I am.
That means less blog posts on other artists. In order for me to preserve my own semi-sensitive identity, I just can't immerse myself in others' work daily! That puts a hurtin on this ole clearinghouse scene, and I am sorry about that. I didn't realize how this path would turn out, or how it would affect me personally. I am considering starting another blog that is more personal, about me, about my art, and less about other people. I don't know ...I have read a lot of blogs lately and they have become so interesting and some people have the coolest posts, the coolest blog design, they sell stuff from the blog...it is endless. Even in blogging I feel competition, although it is subtle. I guess I just have trouble with my own confidence. I will keep on trying to beat it down and the best way I can do it is to keep on my own path, doing my own thing. That's a hard thing to do when you keep watching over your shoulder to see what everyone else is doing.


Balint Zsako

The cover of Culture + Travel for May/June featured a really intense collage that was done by Balint Zsako. What gorgeous collage work!!! I really like the rich medieval look of these pieces. Born in Hungary, now living in Canada, this multi-talented artist also does some really beautiful work in painting too....his website is worth a visit.



I love artistic collaborations, I’ve been part of a few and hope to take part in many more in the future. The internet is an amazing tool for finding people who both challenge and compliment your own artistic sensibilities. Collage is an excellent medium for working with another person; adding, moving, covering, changing what the other has laid down already and back and forth.

I came across an astoundingly great collage collaboration the other day on Flickr.com. The two artists separately are very talented; Yann Robardey and Eva Eun-Sil Han (who has been mentioned on this blog before. Eva goes by the moniker Falling Apart and Yann by Ruin Tourist and together they call their project, where they mail collaged postcards back and forth, Falling Ruin. I find these pieces so refreshing and surprising; absolutely inspired. They post previews of the pieces before they are sent off to the other party, it is nice to get a glimpse at both sides of the collaboration.

Ruin Tourist was involved last year in another collage-collaboration with Benjamin Bozonnet called Chinamatic, which resulted in an exhibition in China, “See You There”.
Eva has an upcoming traveling exhibition at Galerie in der Stadtscheune, in Otterndorf at the North Sea, Germany in July.

Eva's blog
Eva's website
Falling Apart
Ruin Tourist
Falling Ruin


Speaking of Jess...

I love finding out about new artists... I hadn't heard of Jess until I read Daniel's post. (one of the truly great advantages of having another blogger on board!). As it usually goes, when you hear of something all of a sudden you start hearing about it all over, like a cluster.
I was reading over at the blog of Eva Lake, and she mentioned Jess in a recent post. Apparently there is a show called Jess: To and From the Printed Page going on in Portland, Oregon, at Reed, and the show will be up thru July 20. This link has the specifics.
West coasters may want to take this show in and absorb some collagey goodness.

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.