To make a collage obviously means putting together separate things. But often the best collage work ends up being a compilation/arrangement of images and colors that are related in some way.
This is part of the story-telling aspect of collage, I think. We put things together in ways that highlight commonality, that connect and bind, or something along those lines…so that what starts off as a set of distinctly different things/images, ends up a matrix of new connections.
Whether consciously or not, directly or not, this is what happens in collage work and it’s definitely what is happening in these two new pieces of mine.
This one combines images of an eastern Christian church (background) with a western Christian chapel, and a mosque. I wasn’t trying to put religious imagery together initially, but was working with color. The actual content of the images was secondary, yet that is where the similarity and the story-telling comes in.
Putting the piece together, the blue-whites came together first, offering some clean geometry in an otherwise chaotic image. Then the mosque fit into the foreground after I toned things down with some cream and white paper and some masking tape. The mosque also was selected for reasons of color.
It’s kind of fascinating how a set of connections can develop in just this way. The process or the subconscious or whoknowswhat intervenes and guides you toward something semantic and meaningful when you thought you were just playing with colors and shapes.
A hodgepodge approach to color composition in a fairly random collage piece ends up featuring three religious “houses”.
There is a tear down the middle of the background piece, which is almost absorbed in the darkness and hidden by the expected shape of the column. You can see it at the top of the column as the paper tapers toward the right.
And that is another little semantic or symbolic gem that seems like a symptom of the process, making an appearance as an accidental commentary on the 3 related houses.
This second piece, which I’m going to unofficially title “All the Kings”, is a bit different, maybe more scattered, but again brings together ideas in a formation of unintended connections. I’ve said more than you want to hear already, I’m sure, so I’ll just leave you with the title on this one, and end.