There is something about collaging that I like, the freedom to design something with other people's images and create something new is so much fun. So while my students were working on their collage projects in class I decided to make my own.
History Of Collage
Collage was born out of contrast, originally the term was coined by Braque and Picasso who used the technique during their Cubist period to add textured fabrics to their paintings. This added a strong contrast to their paintings both visually and texturally. The technique was then co-opted by the Dadaists as a form of political protest, used brilliantly by Hannah Höch in Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919. Since then collage has often been used as a means of protest or social critique. The use of iconic figures, images and symbols add depth and context to a collage and deepens the meaning of the work.
Collage is derived from the French word coller - to glue.
Inspiration For My Work
- The amazing artist Barbara Kruger, love her strong use of the colour red, her use of black and white images and text.
- Colour was inspired by the America Flag, have always loved Jasper Johns' version.
- The April 1968 Esquire cover of Muhammad’ Ali by Carl Fisher & George Lois referencing the martyrdom of St. Sebastian.
Rationale For My Work
Trump and Reagan for me are two sides of the same coin so I had to use them both, plus they both remind me of the 80s. I added the Make America Great Again hat on the Reagans and turned it like a Rapper would wear a hat, because I find it interesting that America appropriates black culture and at the same time acts horribly racist against their black citizens. Also Reagan for me was a puppet President, a pawn of big business, so a cardboard standee is appropriate. The red spikes reference the arrows from th Ali Esquire image and the Saint being martyred is the dream of America. However, at the same time I see hope in this too, like Gloria Steinem said:
“The truth will set you free, but it will piss you off first.”
So the election of Trump seems to have pissed people off and awakened a renewed social consciousness in many. Which has helped give rise and fuel to the Me Too & Black Lives Matter movements and others which is a great to see.
Walking around the room at the end of class it was inspiring see so many political and social collages by the students. I often hear criticism about this generation not being politically or socially engaged. This has never been my experience, you just need to take the time to listen.
Images sourced online, I do not own any of the rights to these images, images used inside the Trump cut out:
- Newsweek article on the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Time magazine’s Person of the Year The Silence Breakers cover.
- Images from the January 2017 Woman’s March against Trump in Washington.
- “Collage.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Mar. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage.
- “A Brief History of Collage.” Sugarlift, www.sugarlift.com/blogs/the-blog/18603059-a-brief-history-of-collage.