If we were to sift and sort the various collage work being made by artists today, the range would vary between narrative-representational through symbolic-abstract, representational-remixing into mixed-media assemblage, color field abstraction and reductive non-objectivism.
The gamut of media is wide: xerox copied scribbling, magazine and catalog hues, vintage ephemera, corrugated mass-printed cardboards, junk mail, shopping bags, and so on. Collage artists are scavengers. We hunt, we smell, we scan the sidewalk and pick up trash that others fail to notice. We stockpile and slice, separate and sew. Our pigments are recycled and procured from objects destined for re-appropriation.
Each collage artist is interested in a different product, perhaps working towards an aim, frequently seeking re-creation of their inner vision in the world’s kaleidoscope.
While I dabbled in several of the “remixing” style forms early in my discovery of the medium, I soon fell in love with non-objective composition. It began to accurately represent the imagery I thought with throughout my days. It became a method of transcribing the ideas etched into my consciousness onto a tangible surface. The practice of collaging became a process wherein, like the production of making grooves for a phonographic record, the cutting and adhering creates a visual texture for a viewer to read in stereo. The experience of other artists’ works becomes bird songs through a window.
The method of collage, a visual transfiguration akin to modern musical remix culture, allows an artist to expose the tones of and unfurl the counterpoint from our day-to-day symphonic experience. We reveal hidden fibers in experience as we expose the ideas woven into the media we dissect. Collage, like painting, makes sound from the inaudible. A volume of chorus from the works that we view, providing meaning for our days.