I have always been interested in collages – visual images spun, placed together in ways that may be surprising. I had not thought much about it, except peripherally - as something would remind me, until a few months ago, when my friend’s granddaughter sent her a beautiful birthday card with the right amount of whimsy and charm and insight to motivate me back into the playful joy of childhood scissoring of all manner of papers and pasting. Since then I pasted a picture together which reminded me both of the card, of my sister and me squatting on the living room floor surrounded by paper dolls and more, and of the absolute joy of creating and remembering. That led me to making a “collage-book,” which I’ll display soon.
In the last few weeks I have been seeing all kinds of articles about collage, and the way certain artists integrate materials. One is BrainPickings, the fascinating brain-child of Maria Popovva, curator-at-large and troll of all manner of connections of potential human inspiration and interest. Another is the facsimile (and more!) of Joseph Cornell’s Manual of Marvels, noted in a book catalog I received in the mail (holiday time and all). In yesterday’s New York Times, I read “Recycled Newsprint,” by Carlo Rotella, which describes an exhibit running at Washington’s National Gallery until January 27. The curator and her collaborators call the exhibit Shock of the News, the catalog of which “offer(s) a cogent, evocative account of artists’ use and abuse of the newspaper from 1909 to 2009.” I find this fascinating – both the making of images from other images, and the collective consciousness summary of the findings/creations by others who “discover” them in a new context, as more of a whole over time. What more do they say, in context over time?