In 2017 I started my first collage works. I was on search for new painting references and flipped though different magazines. Not knowing what to paint next (yes, the classic, i know) I started to rip out some parts from a wide range of science and fashion magazines and sorted them by color, texture and subject.
Then i took a face and built a clothed body and a background around it. After I had a rough plan of what to place where I began blending them together using glue, pastel, fire and watercolor.
It was a very relaxed way of working because when you make collages, there are two things that are very different to painting:
First, there is very little skill involved, because anyone can rip or cut out a cool head and stick it on a solid surface. The only thing needed is perhaps a taste for color and composition (if that’s important to you) and the fearlessness of experimenting to make strange combinations happen.
That’s what collages are really about: To find new ways of combining old things.
Second, the limitations are so high, that you are forced to be more creative. Unlike in a digital image editing program, the size of the individual snippets can not be changed in the case of analog collages. Also, there is no color or tonal correction. The only way to increase your own opportunities is to use more material or to try out more combinations with the given material.
My collage experiments led to my FRAGMENTS series and this series was the starting point for my series TORN. For TORN I took the faces out of FRAGMENTS and painted them greatly enlarged on canvas. The original faces from FRAGMENTS are usually only thumb-sized and in TORN they are sometimes larger than life.
After painting seven pictures for the TORN series, I wanted to go one step further with the collage process.
I switched completely to a digital work environment and used the photos on my phone or from the internet. I combined these into landscapes of body parts, machines, buildings and trees.
The finished collages are highly fragmented, so no gapless and logic stories are told, but rather accumulated collections of anecdotes, loose thoughts and ideas.
It is not about completeness and causality, but the feeling that we do not know and understand everything.
It is about uncertainty and its charm.