Search Results for: collage

paul butler: collage works + collage party.

Canadian collage artist Paul Butler takes the experience of art off the wall and turns it into a full-on party. Literally.


A “traveling experimental group studio with a rotating cast”, Collage Party has roamed North America and Europe creating walk-in, full-room cut and paste installations.

Unlike your run of the mill house party, these all-nighters (if the beer bottles and artists sleeping on clipping-strewn tables are any indication) are no-holds-barred creativity jams. The results range from nailing teddy bears to the wall to multi-coloured floor to ceiling construction paper towers to mummifying one of the artists in scraps and taping him to a pillar… when you think about it, why not? Its like pre-school craft time without having a teacher telling you not to eat the paste. No material is off limits as long as you can cut it, draw on it and then stick it to something else.



Having referred to some of his own collages as “the visual equivalent of Prozac”, Butler’s individual works revolve around cutting, taping, pasting and combining found images and objects in way that completely alters their original meaning and creates a whole new visual message. Austere and seemingly simple (taping the words “Go Go Go” on a discarded plastic shopping bag bring up a certainly layered take on the state of consumer culture), it’s that apparent simplicity that makes the deeply meaningful messages within so delicious to uncover.


In just a few words he can dilute these consumerist images into a commentary on what’s really being sold to us – when he glues “Decisions, decisions, decisions” onto a picture of a forest glade the relevancy of what he’s saying becoming subtly and immediately clear.



Butler is also founder of The Other Gallery, a “web-based nomadic gallery” designed to promote up-and-coming Canadian artists.


nacho ormaechea / le carnet noir.

I’m a major fan of collage. Ever since I first discovered and fell in love with the work of Canadian artist Paul Butler years ago, I’ve been particularly fascinated by the way artists appropriate and juxtapose existing images (and our assumptions of their meanings) into brand new works. Lately I’ve noticed floods of new digital collage styles on Tumblr. As with anything, some are a bit more well done than others. All are art, but particular ones excel, and I’ve been especially excited by the work of Matt Wisniewski, Beth Hoeckel, and Dessi Terzieva.

Now I’m happy to add the gorgeous digital collages of Nacho Ormaechea’s Le Carnet Noir to the list.

A Spanish-born freelance Art Director and Graphic Designer working in Paris, Ormaechea’s work remove the urban dwellers from his obviously European backdrops and replaces them with colourful, incongruous images ranging from the organic – fruit and flowers – to the urban mundane – industrial hallways and electric signs. While his visual collisions might not have as much of a literal play on meaning or political subtext as others I’ve seen, they’re incredibly eye-catching in a straight forward, high def, casually bombastic way. And I can’t get enough of them. If you can’t either, then they’re all up for grabs over at Big Cartel.

matt wisniewski.

Like a mad chemist mixing potions, collage is a brand new elixir divined from ingredients we all know into a brand new kind of magic. I find that the art of collage can sometimes fall victim to the “my kid could do that” attitude of modern art; the assumption that piecing existing imagery together is somehow easier than creating something from scratch. The point that they’re missing, obviously, is that, like so many things, the amalgamation is a brand new creation that exists wholly unto itself. Particularly, I find myself inspired by the work of: Tierney Gearon, Greg SheglerPaul Butler, and Christian Hückstädt. Today, happily, I can add Matt Wisniewski to the roster of collage awesomeness.

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tierney gearon: explosure.

One person’s photographic gaffe is another person’s treasure. In acclaimed photographer Tierney Gearon’s latest exhibition, “Explosure”, she takes the the classic “mistake” of a double exposure to merge two fairly benign images into something much more provocative. Revealing how the emotion of any image can be altered by removing it from its original context, she blends and morphs her photos, often with a vintage feel, into complex but completely visual statements on body image, voyeurism, sexuality, and more. Melanges teeming with glimpses of nudity, maternity, infancy, nature, and youth, these recent images are a fearless continuation of some of Gearon’s key elements of her photographic style.




The eptiome of an outcome being greater than the sum of its parts, the images are borderline metaphysical; the subject seem both haloed and haunted as the secondary image, the ghost image, subtly pervades their world and unequivocably alters their existence. Hazy and reminiscent, it’s like a collision of two memories – displaced by time and space yet still showcasing the struggle of one human mind. Often one half seems to be alive and active, and one half seems to be suspended by the action of the others. Like a phantom, bound to the focus of its silent watching forever though the unmoving image. Unclear whether the mix is a person remembering the past or fantasizing the future, each shot collides image and expectation into a sort of lucid photographic dream.

If you’re into Gearon’s work, then you should also check out the collage work of Greg Shegler and the amazing photography of one of my favourite artists, Ryan McGinley.








If you’re lucky enough to be in London, then “Explosure” is running until January 27 at Phillips de Pury & Company.

Gearon was also the subject of a 2006 documentary, “The Mother Project”, looking into the fallout after her 2001 exhibition “I Am A Camera” at London’s Satchi Gallery was deemed as “child pornography” by authorities and she was threatened with legal charges. Frequently using her own children as subject in her photographs and having also dealt with her mother’s psychological problems, the doc looks into the circle of mother and daughter, artist and subject, and how each have impacted the other and her ability to create.

Via Designboom.

greg shegler.

Greg Shegler’s work is a tidal wave of kick-ass. Based in Toronto, he mixes vintage photos, found materials, pop culture kitsch, retro-Canadiana, childhood goodness, and rainbows into some of the best collage work I’ve ever seen. If you ever thought that Goombas, groundhogs, and Queen Elizabeth couldn’t fit into one work of art, you thought wrong. His stuff is so brilliantly random. Shegler describes his work as a “nostalgic tornado of awesomeness destined to conquer bare walls and sad faces wherever it goes.” Hells yes it is.

Everything he does is killer, but this first one is my favourite. Can you guess why? That’s right. Look to the upper right. Uh huh. That’s a mutha-fucking View-Master cartridge, ladies and gentlemen. How rad is that?

Battered and aged, his collages are like memory mash-ups. The bright, pristine shine of pixellated Super Mario pipes and Dorothy’s face seems so perfectly placed inside the frail, degrading backdrop of old photos from the 70s and 80s. It’s like a combination of perfect psychological memory laid on top of the fading material record of the exact same time. Preserved forever in thought yet destined, like all things, to have its materials slowly crumble away.

brad troemel.

I’m totally digging the big line-up of projects American artist Brad Troemel’s got going on at his site. Multi-disciplinary and thinking outside of the box, Troemel’s projects are creativity let loose. And it’s crazy good.

In his series “Canvases”, he photographs frosting, sprinkles, and other confections on top of raw meat. I love the juxtaposition of the man-made toppings with the organic flesh underneath…

In a similar vein, Troemel mixes the synthetic and organic again in “Coexist”. This time he heads out into natural environments and emulates the environments with synthetic objects:

In “Greatest Ever” he takes a series of images from championship games and matches each with a quote from that game. The grainy RGB images are hot enough, but when layered with the piece of text each one takes on a whole new meaning. Similar to the text/collage work of one of my favourite artists, Paul Butler

In his photo duo “Everything You’ve Ever Touched Was Temporary”, subtitled “Found Image and the Intentional Destruction of my Cell Phone” he pairs his own work, a vintage image, and a little social commentary…

There is tons of stuff to check out on his site, but my final fave is his series “Special. Basically, he hiked into the middle of a forest, shouted compliments for himself at a tree, then rode his bike to Wal-Mart and bought himself a trophy. It’s so totally random that you can’t not love it.

Via Love Life

anna ter haar: “buitenbeentje” + “a matter of appearance”.

Dutch designer and artist Anna ter Haar has a love of colour, the patience for creating something pain-stakingly different, and a drive to push the boundaries of design, film, and art.

Of her series of altered furniture “Buitenbeentje” (Dutch for “odd man out”) she says “this research is the result of my fascination for everything that differs the normal: the odd man out, the freaks.
Certain appearances that are so ugly and disgusting that they become interesting”.
I’m not sure if it’s really weird then that I find these chairs awesomely beautiful.

Like a multi-coloured stalactite, she laboriously drips different hues of polyurethane resin around the rim of a hole she’s cut in a chair or table and removed the leg. As each dripping dries out it hardens, allowing the next layer to continue, until eventually the amputated leg is reformed by the rainbowed resin. The results are organic, beautiful, and completely unique to each work. The series was shown at the international design fair Salone del Mobile in Milan this April.

She’s also got a cool time-lapsed vid that gives us a peek into her process:

In her graduation film project, she collaborated with Cris Bartel on an interesting film, paint, collage, video mash-up called “A Matter of Appearance”.

In this great making of vid, you can check out how they did it; first creating the shifting imagery and art work, and then projecting it over their subjects while filming:

Via Design Milk

christian hückstädt.

There’s something about nudity, adultery, and all the other jealousies that boil just below our surfaces depicted in cardboard and vegetable collages that somehow makes it all seem a lot more scandalous.

German illustrator Christian Hückstädt’s work is a balance of contradictory extremes. Sure, it looks like something you’d find pinned on a pre-schooler’s refrigerator door, but the subject matter and nuance of emotion is distinctly adult. The simplicity and child-hood association with his media choices make it easy to overlook just how skilled he is. With just a few pieces of cardboard he’s got not just pictures, but entire stories, coming to life here.

This next one is a favourite of mine. I don’t know much German, but the onomatopoeiac beauty of “Putzmeister” isn’t too hard to decipher. Plus, there’s a toilet nearby, so that helps…

That’s just the beginning. Hückstädt also does some pretty amazing photographic work with fruits and vegetables. It’s not that easy to make a watermelon look trepidatious, but he pulls it off big time:

There haven’t been too many times in my life where I’ve said “Gee, I wish I knew more German.” (and I’ve been to Berlin…) but right now I really wish I knew what all these vegetable posts were saying. I have a feeling it’s subtle and brilliant and probably one of those things that’s a bit too smart to translate into other languages. Like reading José Saramago; if it’s that kick-ass in English, imagine how mind-blowing it is in Portugese.

These are just from two sections from Hückstädt’s site – we haven’t even gotten into his vector, graphic, and print work yet. To delve deeper (especially if you can read German) check out his prolific career on his site.

Via Lifelounge