Blauer Vogel (Blue Bird)Collage c. 1922
8 x 7 in. (20.3 x 17.8 cm)
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Murray A. Gribin, Beverly Hills, CA
Since discovering the collages of Estaban Vincente and Kurt Schwitters while taking art courses in college, I've been interested in this art form. Schwitters' collages were made up of everyday clutter and detritus he collected and then reshaped into what he called "Merz" constructions. He expanded this concept to architecture and created a "Merz haus." For years I've been making collages, experimenting with patching together ticket stubs, colored paper, wrapping paper, stamps, old envelopes, subway passes--anything two-dimensional that comes to hand. I like the idea that artfully connecting objects with other dissimilar artifacts provides a new way of viewing them--and the visual design itself is worth working for. I've filled notebooks with these paste-ups.
A year or so ago Janne and I saw a display of quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama at the art museum in Auburn. These distinctive, highly original quilts by a group of rural African-American women have been exhibited all over the country, along with a video showing them at work. They are essentially cloth collages, made of discarded clothing and found scraps.
Perhaps my interest in the collage form is related to my longstanding fascination with journals and diaries and the patchwork quality many of them have. This blog itself is a sort of miscellany, a collage of ideas and visuals.