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Collage

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Epiphany of the West¬† (27″ x 31″) Collage.¬†

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hanging against a white wall, for irregular edge definition

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the best overall light balance- photographing is challenged by the glossy reflective images

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The book sale at the downtown SLC library is what sparked this. Two identical Remington books with oversize fold-out prints and dust jackets of “A Dash for the Timber”, plus a 1960’s era book on Remington with a small bland print of the same, and a fat coffee-table book of Impressionism.

Romanticism was the European stylistic period of painting prior to and somewhat contemporary to Impressionism; the middle east and India were often the theme of mythic manifest destiny of proto-industrialization serving the same appetite as the American West across the pond. Nature as sublime and overwhelmingly destructive, ruined civilizations, inescapable human cataclysms (war, slavery, revolution), immersions in lust, and inescapable death were also thematic of Romanticism.

The modern Anthopocene, or Pryocene; an era of collapse and consequences e.g. the Sixth Mass Extinction due to direct human pressure on local ecosystems coupled with a world wide collapse of the environment via human forced global warming. Portraying the inevitable future of now via Remington’s fantasy images of a West that never was, running roughshod over a landcsape created from images that titillated European culture with a proto-industrial remembrance; this is what sparked at the library sale: an Epiphany for an image of Epiphany (sacred manifestation) to Epiphanize a complex of art historical memes and ‘isms that grappled with industrialism v nature, culture v the individual, the individual v death, the present v inevitable. Shifting this perspective from the sentimental view of a past era, to a contemporary future of collapse already written that cannot be undone is the aesthetic driver for the recontextual use the of art of Romanticism, coupled with the gentle and genteel escapism of Impressionism from the reality of 19th Century industrialization, married with the jingoistic American West of Remington.

 

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Collage from circle die-cuts and scissors of bulls fighting in a corral; derived from a 1998 photo taken while on the Montana Angus Tour representing my father’s purebred outfit, Alpine Meadows Angus. The color transfer is a bit dull, and the focus soft- the weirding of digital images across platforms.

The sunroom is now cool enough during the day to allow painting to begin, so I thought I’d procrastinate on painting by finish out this collage. E was the engine behind getting this one started; she has wanted me to paint this image for years, as it has been up on my art’n wall forever. She suggested we collage it and pushed past my art-entropy malaise. We ducked out into the studio on weekends during the worst July heat, then brought it down to the basement to round out the Olympics. Collage is a great team art project where she sorts out all the color options then uses the die-cuts to amass shapes from the colors we select. We also tag-team on gluing; once I know where a piece will go, she paints the glue on the back of the piece and I lay it in. This keeps the meticulous pace moving at a rate that is actually bearable. Usually we work Non-Referentially, or what is commonly mislabeled as Abstraction. This image IS an Abstraction, where I drew out the image and laid in the shapes that referred to actual forms; a pair of bulls fighting I photographed 18 years ago. It is the first time we have gone Abstract with our collage efforts.