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The Enduring Enigma of Collage

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 8:15 PM

Collage is one of those art forms that immediately sets off heated debate about our most fundamental ideas and visceral feelings about the very essence of art itself.

Turn of the century troublemakers Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso began enhancing their paintings with glued on bits of cut out fabric and other materials, thus neatly blurring the line between the art categories of painting and sculpture. They shifted the emphasis or “meaning” of their painted images beyond an attempted interpretation of the painted “text” to thinking about the artists’ “process” – something wholly separate from the paintings themselves.

And with that a whole new Rubic’s Cube of basic questions about art was opened up:

Is an assemblage of “found” junk really art? Is the artist’s technique in “building” an artwork more important than the artist’s aesthetic skills? Should ideas and feelings evoked in experiencing art come from a “story” or narrative painted on a canvas or are ideas and emotions with perspectives tempered by glued on newspaper clips and photographs just as valid? Is this “sampling” just a form of plagiarism? Is it simply an artist’s shortcut to his vision or expression, and ultimately never really his own best “statement?”

untitled urban collageby gregoriousone

Windsweptby JessicaMDouglas

pionerby igorska

self portrait collageby fantomas1

The Castleby patbremer

Kissed By a Birdby LauraTringaliHolmes

ATC: LoVe BiRdby abstractjet

Outwardby patbremer

Restlessby babsdraws

Leave it to the truly great artists and creative thinkers to leave more questions in their wake than answers. That the creation and interpretation of any artwork is a mad kaleidoscopic endeavor shouldn’t bother us so much a century after Picasso’s transgressions especially in a time of string theory and serious consideration of parallel universes. In fact, any evening spent in front of your end point of choice easily illustrates the triumph of the collage “idea” – as commercial after commercial batters us with seemingly disassociated sounds and images that somehow come together to push a singular perspective: like and want this product... because it is part of a desirable but unobtainable lifestyle implicit in the commercial’s collage of images.

But what of collage as a purely aesthetic artform? It seems the surrealists immediately following Picasso embraced collage, especially because it so nicely served in the presentation of political and anti-war messages, with the grim reality of war in photographs juxtaposed with the artists’s painted pleas for peace. Collage has never really gone out of style, as it seems to be that idea with a little added something that artists, like Warhol in the sixties, rediscover over and over to reinvigorate their messages. One particularly popular school of “wood collage” has endured, in which the artist glues wood cuttings or panels to painted canvases, again creating a painting+sculpture effect. Some artists use natural found driftwood to enhance their paintings, igniting again the “but is it art?” question. By now most of that conversation has died down into a truce:

Any artist’s expression is art. And art is in the eye of the beholder. Period.

Queen Of Black Words Blindfoldedby ArianeJurquet

Bird 3 -- Diveby LauraTringaliHolmes

carmageddonby live-by-evil

sumo surfingby almcdermid

Traditional american familyby Drogul-le-Mogul

Crosswalk on Manhattanby rpintor

Dannyby patbremer

Collage seems to have won a place in our collective hearts as an artform that “anyone can do.” We start cutting and gluing pictures in Kindergarten to add to our crayon creations and many happy homes have photo collages of smiling famiy members hanging on their walls. Whatever comment the serious artists are making about “process” or political activists are making about world peace is now wrapped warmly in the same artistic space as our baby photo collections.

“Digital Art” is the latest artform in search of a theory by the academics. But its commercial application as CGI is transforming the look of the imaginary worlds in films and video games and no doubt doing much, for better or worse, to imprint those (usually dystopic) landscapes in our sub-consciences.

Personally I love collage as an artform.

You Obviously Lack Originalityby Chickenman74778

Perfect Strangerby wicked-vlad

Questions For the Reader

  1. Is collage even relevant as a technique in the face of digital tools that instantly paste content into almost every image we see?

  2. What is your first reaction to the “is ‘found’ art really art?” question?

  3. Does the experience of the “meaning,” or at least your perception of a painting, being changed to a new perspective by added materials engage your mind in a positive way, or make you feel like what’s the point? Does too much relativity kill your soul?

  4. How would you feel if some of the plates fell off your very expensive Julian Schnabel “painting?” Would you first wonder if re-gluing them made the work somehow altered or bogus?  Would you wonder first about insurance or resale value?

  5. Do you have personal collages of friends and family? Did the placement of individuals’ pictures within the collage have any particular significance?

Collage is one of those art forms that immediately sets off heated debate about our most fundamental ideas and visceral feelings about the very essence of art itself. Turn of the century troublemakers Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso began enhancing their paintings with glued on bits of cut out fabric and other materials, thus neatly blurring the line between the art categories of painting and sculpture. They shifted the emphasis or "meaning" of their painted images beyond an attempted interpretation of the painted "text" to thinking about the artists' "process" – something wholly separate from the paintings themselves.

Writers: $techgnotic
Designers: $marioluevanos
Add a Comment:
bluespectralmonkey Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014   Traditional Artist
enjoy my art.
have you ever listened to a dj play music.
collage is the same thing.

i do both.

life moves on.
francesca1223 Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
francesca1223 Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
<font><font>El collaes una manera divertida de hacer una pintura. Y la percepción de ella depende del espectador. Y si abré hecho un collage en mi vida fue en primaria , hasta unos dos años más en secundaria. </font></font>
alwaysAdventure Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I personally love collages. But I do think that there is a difference between creating art and just slapping a few images onto some construction paper. The same goes for sketches, and digital art, and sculptures, and pictures. Art itself has a thought process and meaning behind it and to it; that is why it can be challenging or frustrating or bring immense satisfaction to the creator or viewer. Take that away, and you no longer have art.
oldjorba Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
In this era of politically correct recycling, just think of COLLAGE as a natural extension of the movement.
mooliemoo Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014
Sashakeen - it has a term - Photoshopping
oldjorba Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's nice to suddenly realize that what I call "fooling around on the puter" is called an art form. I got tired of looking at four white walls so it started with enlarging some of my travel pictures and hanging them on the walls. Then the fateful day came along when I used Photoshop Elements to put a moon into one of my pictures. 325 "COLLAGE" pictures later and I'm still doing it.
They make great Christmas calenders and when it comes to taking the family Christmas picture, well your limited to your own imagination. 
wee-jock Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
I have made many collages in my time and the advent of cut and paste has made it even easier to do. I don't expect people to like my collages (or montage's if you prefer) but I enjoy making them.
sashakeen Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Dear Theorionmage and all... you may call it "photo-collage" but there is already a term for that and that is MONTAGE. Collage is usually assemblages of paper, cloth, etc worked out to form some sort of "other" image or design while a montage is usually juxtaposition of images and ranges from the paper assemblages of Max Ernst (& Co) all the way to include, according to Alfred Hitchcock,  Film (movies, TV and commercials). 

I have been wrestling with this for a long time since I believe that CGI or Computer Generated Images for this purpose and use is in great need of a new term. What we do in creating work with this new technology is neither collage or montage but something altogether new and different.
roseofthevalley Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Student
1. Digital tools can make collage more seamless, can speed up a process, can give wider range of flat images, but less textural material unless you have a 3D printer and scanner.  If an artist wants to use digital tools it's their call.  It's neither a NOT art or a FALSE art.  It just is an art.  Every medium has it's weakness.  Some people just like to drag them into the light and mock them.  I don't think digital collage is "cheating" or "fraud".  That's disrespectful and plain rude.

Also digital tools are very good for making virtual mockups for your physical collage.  Or you can use digital tools to create sections of a more seamless work, and juxtapose it with the textural.  (Speaking of this, I want to try it.)

2. ART ought to create discussions and evoke a change in perception/thought process for the viewer.  On one level it is cognitive and other affective. Or you can think of these two as ends on a continuum.  I like to think that when the two intersect or blend, they are most effective.   But, any work can slide between the two ends of the continuum (The reason I chose this chart instead of a venn diagram).

Found art a la Duchamp's urinal, to me, is more cognitive.

As for collage?   I think collage although some times deemed a low art actually fall in the space where these two categories intersect or blend.  However, like other "medium" of visual art, there is a range within the itself.  The ones shown above do encompass that range.  Some of them appeal more on a cognitive level and others more on the affect.  But that depends on the viewer or "the eye of the beholder," which makes it impossible to displace the cognitive, even when it occupies a small space of the continuum.

3. I'm an v. art/english major/minor.  I think "added materials" is a misnomer.  there's already a bias in the term.   What you should say/write instead is "non-traditional" painting materials, traditional being (acrylic, oils and mediums).  I think "non-traditional materials" can emphasize meaning in paintings, that is, bring the weight of perception towards a more cognitive space on the continuum (see note 2).  But it can be affective as well.  It just depends again on the viewer.  As I mentioned before, any work can slide between the two ends of the continuum.

Does relativity kill your soul?  Hell no!  It creates all sorts of dialogue and discussion.  It feeds the art work, the viewer and the artist.

4. I can't agree that a "fixed" or "restored" work would become "bogus".  It can become a new work, or an interpretation of the old work:…
Admittedly it wasn't damaged, but an artist did intervene.

5. N/A.  I don't usually make collages from photos, but I do use mixed media aka painting, drawing in the same work.  Speaking of which I should try =)
Mabogunje Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
1. Collage is definitely a relevant technique. Digital tools are designed to make relevant thing faster and easier, so the fact that they are accomplishing this does not and should not make the art form irrelevant. In the same way that industrialization made hand-made goods more precious, I think the evolution of digital collages, has made hand-made collages that much more precious.

2. The question is not really about whether the art is "found" or not, but rather if the resulting piece strikes me as art. I think collage, like abstract art, is more susceptible to the "eye of the beholder" idea in respect to determining their value - and as such whether each work is valued as art or not is determined by how many people consider it art. For example, I would consider most of the work highlighted in this article art (but probably not my childhood collages).

3. I think answering this question is really the point of the art form. A great collage artwork will includes materials in a way that adds meaning. When the artwork fails to do that for me, I considered that garbage or poor art.

4. Resale value definitely. Like I said in #2, since the value of a collage is very relativistic, modifying the piece at all in my opinion reduces that value. One wouldn't just saturate the Mona Lisa because the colours were fading, so how can I just glue stuff back? Also, it is unlikely I would own an expensive collage for any reason besides it's market value.

5. I remember making a collage as a child (along with some paper mache), but have no recollection of what exactly I made... only that the process was a lot of fun :)
Sculptage Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
 Collage is the best - it can be abstract, comment, visual art, use real stuff to comment or represent, and much more. I do 3D and relief collage, the 3d beingh Sculptage an art in space-time of curved movements set in a stillness.
TeddyFB5 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
I wanna make a collage :) teach me
toomuch89 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
I've done a couple of drawings and paintings, when I was still in high school, that were based on photographs-- I looked at the photograph and then I drew it, changed it a little. That isn't copyright infringement, is it? My art teacher at school didn't even mention if that was possible. Especially in the internet age though, where so much is shared, and shared freely, isn't copyright infringement really petty and nasty, I mean, if they can do that they probably have everything they need to live a healthy life, I'd think a lawsuit proving they're an asshole would be bad advertising, while someone using them in their collage or art piece is good advertisement they didn't even pay for, they should be giving the artist money, not asking the artist for money for copyright infringement. 
toomuch89 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
1. Digital can make anything we would like to do faster and cleaner. So it's not about relevance, but about how fast people can do it now. If that's cheating I don't know, maybe we should give the computer an id, and say by so and so, and the ghost in the machine. Popular sci fi. 
2. Of course. Marcel Duchamp. But you know what, those people who made the urinal were a lot more creative and a far bigger help to humanity. 
3. Everything is meaningless. I have no soul. But, added materials are alright, I was never a fan for my own stuff. 
4. If I had enough money to do that, I'd get a very expensive art restorer and then try to not so subtly seduce them. 
5. My mom has always been a collage and photo nut, I've always tried to work on my drawing ability, which was beyond her, but I still have this little red table filled with pictures of people from old movies and children's books and fairy tales and me and my siblings, pasted together in a beautiful way. It really impressed me when I was little anyway, so much so that I went through a phase of watching Shirley Temple movies... My parents made me pay for that by showing me every Alfred Hitchcock movie one time when I was little. Actually the one with the crazy Salvador Dali dream sequence is still one of my favorites, a great Hitchcock, better than Psycho even, and I started to like the horror genre after that. But I still smile when I look at it. But my butt can't fit in the little red chairs anymore. Most of the children's books and fairy tales on it I've read. Probably my favorite illustration was the one from Alice and Wonderland, and the story of Ping.  
guyWOLF Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional General Artist

fabiobianchi53 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
a ransom letter could be a collage?
BrekanArts Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
I have been a collage artist since my first show at 17 in 1991.  It was then whgile still in school, David Hockney recognized my work at a group exhibit in Phoenix.   I've since shown collage at in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, among other great cities.  I have works in the permanent collections of  Musee Artcolle in France and the International Museum of Collage in Mexico City.  Collage has come far from Matisse and Picasso.  I specialize in plastic collage (plastique colle).   
hamadahelsaudi Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Student Interface Designer
ScarllettRuleZ Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What is your first reaction to the “is ‘found’ art really art?” question?

If I can't understand what the artist is trying to convey, or get the feeling like the artist put time and effort into the collage, then I deem it garbage.

With collages you really have to see what the connections are with the images and materials being used. It's pretty much like a puzzle.

And I'm very wrong for doing this, or probably very lazy, but if I cant figure out the connection, I'll assume the person just threw some things together in an old shed somewhere and announced ' THIS IS ART!' to no one in particular.
Blood-Red-Cure Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
2) You don't find art, art finds you and you hang it up for the world to see.
Hansmar Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. sure
2. Whether found art is art depends on whether there is art involved. Just placing two items together on pedestal is not necessarily art. However, making an interesting sculpture, collage, still life that warrants a second and third and more looks: that is art.
3. Added material in painting can be very useful to increase the level of interest. But, like for any other type of work, it depends on how it is used and whether it really makes a difference.
4. I would never own a very expensive 'painting'. I think if Schnabel has glued it on, I can glue it on too. Think about the Barnett Newman painting being repaired by rolling instead of brushing. At first even the people from the museum did not notice!
5. No
GoodnightNovemberEve Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. Yes.

2. I love it. In school, I had assignments where we were asked to create Found poems, art, etc. I'm not good at drawing, but I have tons of cut-outs, and have made collages for myself.

3. It engages my mind.

a. I would re-glue them if it made the painting look bad, but would not re-glue them if it gave the painting more character (but would save the pieces).
b. Not sure.
c. Neither. I don't sell the things I love.

5. No. I make colleges out of magazine clippings.

Are we allowed to post collages now? I have a few I've been waiting years to post, but when I asked back then, they pretty much told me that no I can't post them. I'm not much of an artist otherwise, and I stopped producing art, but would start again if they opened this up.
serafina-rose Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant and so well written! I love collage and it's another form of expressing yourself artistically! Thank you!
Robinthebear Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
It depends greatly on what "Existing" media actually means. YOU use anything I ever did and there might be lawsuits. Everything I post on this website is already owned by the commission that ordered it. MOST is corporate-owned..the rest privately. I akin this to something called "Sampling" in the music genre'......and personally..I dont approve of it at all.. I can only ok this sort of thing when the "Existing Media" doesn't infringe on copy written media.
BrekanArts Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Yep, and my lawyers will say F_you.  :D   Your art is my art is the worlds art.  Suck it.  Sue me.  Mattel did and they lost. 
42572050 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Me encantan!!4
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
ashimbabbar Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
Collage is a legitimate art style.
As a rule, I don't like it.
BrekanArts Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
I dont like you
ashimbabbar Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014
Same to you. Because I don't like people who don't like me, and I like them even less when they react 1 year afterward to what wasn't said against them in the first place.
AlicesWonder Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Collage is a legitimate art style. I've spent days working on one collage. I don't just throw junk together and see what sticks. I take a lot of time trying to get a balance of color and style with many tiny pieces sometimes. Or I combine original art with more complex patterns I did not create. I think the legal problems concerning collage should have been discussed in the blog, and I hope you will do a follow up on that.
futoraa1 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
Art can be either objective or subjective to the artist.To the viewer it is largely subjective of the perception of what the artist is trying to convey. the collector values art as an appreciative beauty, and monetary worth based on age of the piece, restorative value, and wether the artist still lives or is deceased. As far as the plates that fell off the Julian painting, The value of investment would come first, insurance would come second with restorative efforts, and altering would come into play if the plates could not be restored. Authentication is presumed established,and therefore the the painting would still be original and not bogus.
Wether you are an collector or an Viewer, the subjectivity is likened to " One man's junk is another's treasure."
From the Classics, to traditional,to modernist, to contemporary art,the collage art is the synthesis of all art forms; and it spans from past to present. As far as 'found' means that its revived and given new life to something that has always been there for generations and been rediscovered.[link]
Theorionmage Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Any more I work almost exclusively in what I term 'photo-collage'. I began in collage about the age of 5, happily amusing myself cutting elements from commercial magazines, pasting them to paper then drawing and coloring in the background at my maternal grandmother's kitchen table. A VERY primitive 'green screen'-like process. At that time, my personal skills-set was still in its rudimentary formative phase.

The next milestone occurred in 4th grade when a beloved Franciscan Nun, Sister Theolinda, recognized my nacient love of art and recommended me for inclusion in the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh's citywide Saturday morning art classes project. For four years... each Saturday morning my Mother would dutifully transport me from our home in the So. Hills of Pgh. over to Oakland and the museum's magnificient concert/classroom. Our instructor, Mr. John Fitzpatrick used to bolster our self-image by reminding us that NO amount of money could buy your way into this class. It was here I developed my fundamental skills. One Saturday, destiny introduced me into the wages of inattention to detail, wherein a little girl about my age, bolted from the sidewalk to cross to a streetcar island and was doubly-struck by two cars. She'd been thrown a good 15 ft into the air then struck again as she'd landed by the opposing lane's traffic. Her crumpled little body lay there in the roadway amid the stopped vehicles like some little broken doll. I don't believe she survived it.

Entering into an awkward Catholic parochial adolescence... I learned by tracing onionskin over commercial newspaper and magazine advertising art... both to find 'safe' expression of my emerging raging male hormones and the expedience of amassing an Artist's morgue. Early works were dutifully squirreled away under the floorboard's of my home's attic studio.

Eventually... I apprenticed at the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, earned a dual Bachelorate from Penn State in Graphic Design and Photography. In dutifully taking my Art History courses I was very much a 'Realist' and had little respect for Picasso's style, thinking it much a 'con' until one day I was privy to his "mechanicals" for a minimalist etching of a Bull. He had rendered a Michaelanglo-esque musculatured bull and then SUBTRACTED lines, shadow and elements until the end result were just several sparce lines delineating the bull's power and essence!

For a brief time, I was lead artist for the Jostens/American Yearbook Company before fullfilling my 'Nam era draft obligation as a military photographer. MUCH of the retouching & artwork for yearbooks involves the skills and vision of photo-collage.

Eventually, I was stationed in Washington, DC and by circumstance, some of my photos are in he National Archives pertaining to our nation's Bicentenial & Pres. Carter's Inauguration. Free time... I worked as a commercial artist for Jand's of Silver Spring, MD and continued developing my compositing collage across multiple media in a small studio in my home. I would illustrate favorite themes from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, this time period was just as GOOD graphic novels began replacing inexpensive "comic books".

The next big evolution came as amateur computing merged with the manipulation of Xerox-graphicly inputted images. Long gone was the need for glue or quality celluloid tracing vellum to composite my artist's visions.

Fast-forwarding to the present, there is now software like 'Poser' and commercially the public is treated to the likes of 'Final Fantasy 9' and 'Avatar'. ALL of these owe their existence to elements of the collage process ~
macelt Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
collage is very nice, what a wealth of ideas.
france912 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Having been and continuing to be a collage artist for over 40 years..........I wish we would just settle in and enjoy the VAST spectrum of collage/mixed media/assemblage work of some of the most amazing artists and work that has come our way in some time! Its so innovative and electrifying that I am awed by it.....whether hand constructed or digital!
kylemarielle Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
wow!! creepy how it works!!! Art is so great...........whew!
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
4ScarfAce4 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The following may not be a direct response to any of the questions posed, but I still think it's worth saying.
Everyday speech is a kind of collage, too. Consider this: the vast majority of the words we use were not invented by us, but have been handed down from our ancestors, via the people who taught us to speak. Thus, every time we say a sentence, we use creations made by other people to make a new statement. And so did - and do - all authors. Shakespeare was a master of word coining, but he didn't invent the words "to", "be", "or" or "not" - and yet, his most famous question is comprised of these very short, simple words. And then, if you look at the many authors who are less famous for their neologisms than for the way in which they used words to create effects... it should make you realize that using things already created is simply a part of life.
Of course, not all speech is such a collage. The sentences "How are you", "Eew - that's disgusting" and "I'll have a medium choco mocca frothy and a muffin" are less making a collage and more taking a picture of the Mona Lisa and calling it art. But that doesn't mean everyday speech can't be as anarchic as the strangest collages around. "Today, when I got out of my giraffe, I baked a crispy violin, then purged a swan, mounted my diffident handbag and choked up the Eiffel Tower." It sounds like Dada, which is what it's meant to be. But I think you get my meaning. Collages may be one of the most effective ways of turning something that is heard into something that is seen.
Enough talk. I think it's time I tried my hand at collaging. There are plently of mad thoughts in my head, just bursting to be turned into paper.
Guruzone Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The samples you have displayed for initiating debate on collages are one of the best I have seen. Yet I am somewhat unhappy by the tone and use of words in framing the questions to get dA fraternity’s feedback on collage as an art form in this age of digitalisation. However, I thought I should share my thoughts in a frank and gentle manner and here I go.
• Is collage even relevant as a technique in the face of digital tools that instantly paste content into almost every image we see?
Collage is certainly not a technique; it genuinely is as an art form and has relevance even in these times of easy access to digital tools. However, the convenience of being able to ‘instantly paste content into almost every image we see’ does not necessarily create an aesthetically satisfying piece of art. A lot depends on the collage artist in conceiving and transferring her idea on to the paper or canvas. There also may be times when she is not happy because there is an aesthetic gap between what was conceived and the actual outcome. However, that does not disqualify collage as an art form.

• What is your first reaction to the “is ‘found’ art really art?” question?
It is outright demeaning to the collage artist to ask, ‘Is “found” art really art?’ Just because she uses a few pieces of someone’s work (which may not by themselves be of a high standard but suit her present need to fill in the collage space because of their shape, size, colour, texture etc.) to create something original that took birth in her resourceful mind, does not make her creation a ‘found art.’
By this unfair logic, canvas, paper, pencils, chalks, crayons, colour tubes, etc. and even live flowers, plants, animals, human beings etc. or literally any object in the universe or even an unexpressed concept, can all be a part of that infinite ‘found art.’ And do we therefore deny originality or aesthetic value to collage creations? Creatively putting together pieces of others’ work, besides adding one’s own in appropriate ways, does help come up with stunningly impressive and aesthetically satisfying art work, some specimens of which you have displayed. And if this isn’t original art, what is?

• Does the experience of the “meaning,” or at least your perception of a painting, being changed to a new perspective by added materials engage your mind in a positive way, or make you feel like what’s the point? Does too much relativity kill your soul?
The immediate overall impression of a collage is most important for me. And the later discovery that the artist has used pieces of others’ art for gaining the necessary effect does not decrease my esteem and appreciation for the collage artist. So, there is no room for the uncharitable thought, ‘What’s the point?’ And, of course, my soul stays cool.

• How would you feel if some of the plates fell off your very expensive Julian Schnabel “painting?” Would you first wonder if re-gluing them made the work somehow altered or bogus? Would you wonder first about insurance or resale value?
With my limited understanding of this question, I am still attempting to respond thus :
As collage is also a distinctly creative art form, I am very much pained by your showing the word painting in inverted commas. There is no universally accepted definition of how much a collage should have pieces (whether glued or not) of others’ work and how much original stuff of the collage artist. Incidentally, in your second sentence above, the description ‘altered’ may be ok but not ‘bogus.’ The improper word, ‘bogus,’ implies the collage artist’s malicious intention to pass off imitation work as original and that certainly is offending to the community of collage artists.
If my collage creation gets damaged (including pieces falling off) in any way, howsoever expensive it may be, I would still do
(1) restoration work even if it does not come up to its original aesthetic level after doing my best and
(2) being optimistic & resourceful, I would still use some other piece/s to fill the gap/s (caused by the falling off of some), yet giving a new interpretation to my neatly restored collage. This restored collage, even if with change in its theme, could fetch me a better price, and why not!

• Do you have personal collages of friends and family? Did the placement of individuals’ pictures within the collage have any particular significance?
No, I do not have any personal collages of friends and family members. If the collage theme demands inclusion of individuals’ part or full pictures, I would certainly use them. Those individuals may or may not be my friends or relatives. Every piece in a collage would have to serve some purpose and all of them together would also have to evoke right sensibilities for me and viewers of my collage.

Incidentally, long ago, maybe more than 3 decades ago, I had done collages using sample pieces of hand-woven silk, sample pieces of laminated sheets along with postage stamps & matchbox labels, besides figures drawn and brightened with water colour and crayons. And they were given away as personal gifts to our friends and relatives.
dare2cre8 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As a collage artist, I very much appreciate your answers to the questions, and I agree.
Creativeness Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013   General Artist
Collages are fun, done tones of them in the past, all kinds, as bookmarks, you just tape them around a harder paper, and make a theme for each one. The use of words is key. And huge collages for family, about particular people, images and words to describe them, colors that are theirs, animals, fav drinks, massive cool collages really fun.
jaguarcliff Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Collage is DEFINITELY ART... where else can we categorize this if its not art then? Hmmm? O.o
mebyrne57 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes it is still relevant as artists add more and more items to the items to be in a collage.
Found art items will always be art, changing the way something is seen is as important as creating a new object.
I like how adding something from a different media can change the meaning of a piece of work or sometimes make the original intent more meaningful. Art of any kind can’t really kill your soul, it can make you think more about your own life.
If a work that I owned was damaged I would worry about repairs changing something about the work, example did the artist know that pieces would fail after X number of years and intended that to happen. And yes for a piece I would be concerned about the value of the work after repairs.
Oh yes placement of photographs and drawings of people I know have meaning to the piece, I did a large piece 37 years ago had photos of people I did not know and a few photos of people I did know they were part of the collage timeline.
HollieBollie Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
this looks like art to me...
sErgEantaEgis Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013
Can I print this and bring it to my art teacher?
AriesAbao Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student Artist
Looks like a clipping mask hard yeah.
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013
1. In my view a digital collage, as opposed to a fully blending manip, is a collage. Nothing else quite does what collage does with it's ability to contrast, often violently, clips from media with different colour, saturation, lighting and graphics values into some kind of meaningful, (or harder still, meaningless ?) whole. As an art form I soppose it's not taken seriously because, like photography or abstract expressionism, 'anyone can do it'. However, like those other fields of artistic endeavopur, not everyone can do it well. But Max Ernst was willing to spend time on it [link] , and that's good enough for me. Here's one of my digital efforts [link] . Now tell me someone might have gone to the trouble to paint or sculpt That.

2. To refer people to the early Dadaist work of Marcel Duchamp? I rely on found materials for my art.

3 That depends on the work. It does with Max Ernst, who sometimes overpainted old photos or postcards to obtain new images.

4. What, you think I would BUY or even consent to OWN a Schnable? The more bloody plates fall off the better as far as I'm concerned!

5. No, if my photos are any good I like to keep them intact. I have collaged a few photos together for artistic effect, but not ones of friends or family.
object000 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Just to add my penny's worth- I feel collage is a form or drawing. Its drawing with existing pictures, and often, if the picture I've used is recognisable, I'm purposly integrating the meanings and cultural refrences of that image into the work... and it also adds another interesting level of subjectivity to the viewer, as they may recognise and draw meanings from a part of my collage which I was just using to make an image/composition...
Torpedo585 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I got involved in THIS back in 2011 with a group of other aspiring artists; the project creator has finally gotten a gallery for the showing of all the works in Chicago...does this mean that collage is now considered a part of main-stream art as much as Warhol's work was?
ArianeJurquet Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
thanks for featuring my collage !
Miguel-Santos Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013   Photographer
I love this!
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