Randy Grskovic rearranges family photographs. He slices found photographs into geometric abstractions. What were once cherished images of memories are now emptied of their sentimental meaning. Grskovic’s collages draw attention to the process of photographing ourselves – making images of ourselves for posterity. While photographs are often considered true and trusted documents of past events, Grskovic’s work encourages viewers to be skeptical of the idea of their objective nature. He says:
“The memory has changed and so has the document. The photograph as well as any other document is never an accurate depiction of truth.” [via]
I just got back from checking out the undergrad show at UCLA Design Media Arts, and I was impressed with a lot of the work, but there was one young artist that really stood out to me: Canon Call. Call’s work is largely comprised of illustration on found materials, and the sincerely charming thing about these little disruptive doodles is their ability to build upon the image they are layered on top of in order to develop a dialogue around pop-culture and society at large. The best part of the work is the hidden irony behind the naming of each piece’s source file… each JPEG on his site is titled “dontsteal.jpg” or “dontcopythis.jpg – and various other alterations of that phrase. Genius. The work itself feels like a weird mashup of pop art and a surrealist exquisite corpse of sorts. I am very much looking forward to watching Call’s work develop.
The name of Artist Scott Dickson‘s series Moment Monument, like the artwork, is a juxtaposition of sorts. Using vintage postcards as collage material, Dickson obscures the monuments that are the intended subject of the photographs. Using the vintage photos and geometric forms, Dickson relieves the monuments of their narrative and posterity. This allows a second look at the monuments physical context – it’s pedestal, its surrounding, the space it in inhabits. More importantly, though, it encourages a second look at monument’s conceptual context – the meaning of commemoration and memory through sculpture.
Artist Xochi Solis‘ work combines painting with collage into smartly layered pieces. Rather than spreading the elements throughout the composition, Solis places them all at the center. She layers each piece on the on top of the one before it, revealing only pieces of found images or painterly strokes. The round images almost appear cellular though still resisting easy interpretation or identification. The Austin, Texas based artist’s materials range from acrylic and oil paint to found images and acetate.
Designer and artist Maud Vantours works primarily in paper. Using intricate cutting and layering techniques Vantours creates highly detailed pieces. In this way, she also transforms an especially two dimensional medium into a three dimensional work with depth. In addition to her paper art, Vantours has worked with high-profile clients such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, and Guzzini. She’s incorporated her elements of her paper art work into designs ranging from food presentation to home decor.
Artist Jesse Treece specializes in collage. Using vintage imagery, he creates surreal scenes and portraits. His collages nearly feel like lost scenes of 1970′s science-fiction and horror films. The collages often juxtapose science with nature, inside with outside, and large with small. Treece makes effective use of familiar imagery and styles to create entirely new artwork. The immersive pieces tell fantastic stories, as well as the mundane ones of life through a flood of images.
Something is not quite right with Nandan Ghiya‘s portraits. Indeed, several are titled Download Error. Ghiya’s antique portraits of upper class men and women from the past seem to be physical manifestations of garbled JPEG files. Each portrait is collaged and each frame carefully modified in a ways that resemble corrupted digital photographs. The now forgotten subjects of these portraits may have sought posterity through these images and the artist seems to communicate this in a familiar visual language of the digital. He uses life documented through JPEG’s, glitches, and error messages to reflect the modern plastic identity.
Artist Kristen Schiele produces vibrant paintings and shadow boxes. Schiele richly layers her work both in her medium – paint, thread, collage – and in narrative. Her work merges indistinct structures and landscapes with rays and patterns of color as well as collaged human figures. Each piece seems at once to be about stories and tell one of its own. Speaking about the sources for her layers of images she says:
“I do keep a sketchbook. I also have a library of images printed out, some scanned in from libraries. They are from years of collecting. I get ideas and start folders of images for different paintings. I narrow the folders down into a show.” [via]