As a child, like many of us, I was obsessed with collaging. It began within the confides of scrap books and my family photos. Then as I hit 13 it emerged from the books onto my walls, covering space from floor to ceiling until my mother had to come in and give me a speech about how it's going to ruin the paint. As I entered college my single collage wall turned into a collage room as all four of my walls became blank canvases for my cutting and pasting endeavors. It got the point that literally all walls from floor to ceiling were covered, and I mean COVERED. Today I am trying to teach myself the word edit as I have cut back my wall murals into very select photos that are perfectly spaced out creating an organized flow instead of a visual vomit as seen below.
Despite my current attempts to restrain my collage madness I can not deny who I am and have been exploring the origins of collaging in art. Before there were the Surrealists in fine art there were the Dada-ists. Beginning in the cafe's of Paris, France after WWI the Dada's were a group of people that were fed up with the standards that made art art and decided to do everything opposite of it. The name Dada literally means nothing, baby blabber. Many women found their voice's in the Dada movement as they began to get recognition as artists, unlike anything seen in any previous European movements. Collaging became a very common form of expression for the Dada's as it was not considered a fine art form.
Even though I wouldn't compare myself to the Dada-ists I have been extremely captivated by them lately and started making some new collages in my sketchbook that I wanted to share. It's so exciting to cut up these subjects and mix and match until something finally feels right whether it be because of the color scheme, the mood, or the strange juxtaposition of the images. A whole new life is brought to the image.
I'm not sure if I enjoy more hands on collaging or the digital photo shop version of it. They are very different processes and with each I have different strains of thoughts and decisions I have to make. Digital has it's advantages being able to easily change image sizes and overlay them but with hands on collaging you are much more challenged to create the image you want with what little you have available.
Do you still collage? Is it stuck inside a book you keep all to yourself or do you display it for all the world to see? I'd love to hear the opinions of collaging as we get older; how age suddenly can turn something that is consider children's arts and crafts into a fine art.