Seamless is a Digital Composite Collage Artist
Collage is a technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
A collage may sometimes include magazine and newspaper clippings, ribbons, paint, bits of colored or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty.
The term collage was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.
With the advent of digital tools such as Photoshop, collage in contemporary surrealistic art become one of the primary techniques to create surreal artwork. Simultaneously, with the ubiquity of camera phones (everyone is a photographer) and screens (how many ads do we see a day?) we a seeing a more nostalgic style to the style of some surreal artists. This may be a reaction to conceptual art and our digital interfaces as a way to differentiate art from, well, not art. This is not just simulated with retro styled photo filters but with the choice of materials. Artists such as Eugene Loli, Trash Riot, and Felipe Posada make ample use of decades-old illustration and photography. With this choice of materials, the work separates itself from “regular” photography (a window into the world) or film and develops its own retro-futuristic or retro-psychedelic aesthetic. Other Collage artists such as Khan Nova and Wahndur use digital tools and clean, contemporary styles to create their own surrealistic visions.
Born in 1928, in Kochi, Japan, Toshiko Okanoue grew up in Tokyo. She began to make photo collages while she was studying fashion design and drawing in Bunka Gakuin in the early 1950s. When she first began working, she had very little art historical knowledge, and knew nothing of the Surrealist movement.
In post-war Japan, a shortage of goods and materials meant the country was flooded with commodities from foreign countries. Okanoue used fragments from Western fashion magazines such as Life, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, to create radical compositions combining body parts, animals and inanimate objects in dynamic arrangements. Although the component parts of her collages originated from Western sources, Okanoue herself regarded her technique of image making as deeply rooted in Japanese tradition. She thought of her works as a form of hari-e (‘hari’ meaning pasting and ‘e’ meaning a picture in Japanese), a traditional Japanese technique of making pictures by pasting small pieces of coloured paper onto pasteboard.
It was only in 1952, upon meeting the poet and artist Shuzo Takiguchi, that Okanoue found her own place in art history. Takiguchi was a leading figure of the Surrealist movement in Japan, and introduced Okanoue to the works of the famous Surrealist, Max Ernst, whose style had a decisive influence on her. During the subsequent six years, Okanoue produced over 100 works. Her collages remained idiosyncratic and dreamlike in their juxtaposition of contradictory imagery. In 1953 and 1956, she held solo exhibitions at Takemiya Gallery, Tokyo. However, as with many Japanese women of this era, her marriage in 1957 ended her artistic career.
Okanoue returned to her hometown of Kochi, where she now lives. She is married to the painter Fujino Kazutomo. Her work faded into obscurity and was overlooked for almost 40 years. However, it was rediscovered by the curator of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in the mid 1990s, and has since gained recognition for its contribution to the Japanese avant-garde. In 1996 her works was shown in Meguro Museum of Art, and has subsequently been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Evan Lawrence creates strange and contemporary surreal art. Self-taught, Lawrence uses ambiguous symbolism to explore his transcendent visions. He is inspired by “the delusion of the beautiful things until the weird moments; represented by the emotional feeling of himself”.
Lawrence’s work is part reminiscence and part artifact of his own inner meditations. Reflecting on past experiences and encounters, the work raises questions of identity, meaning, and representation. Lawrence hopes his work ultimately contributes to a better world by acting as a mirror the viewers’ subconscious.
“I see art personally as the bridge between conscious and subconscious, between what is real and not real. I express and balance my ego with it. Surrealism is like an escape room for me, a self-investigation of identity. I always try to infuse each piece of my work with my feelings, desires, moods, and dreams of the moment, using art as a basic language; transliterate the noetic perceptions into explicit views.”
About Charles Wilkin
My work is a loose collection of thoughts and observations in many ways and less about one specific theme. I see it as being a reflection of the world we live in, with all its ugliness and cruelty. But from that, I strive to extract the beauty and empathy hidden underneath and within us all, revealing the unknown, the unspoken and intangible things that make us truly human. For me, collage as a medium replicates this frenetic and inherent collision of people, culture, and emotions we all experience. I believe the true meaning of my work is derived directly from the intertwining of these associations, and the spontaneity of my creative process. This gives my work the freedom to live creatively in the moment, and the ability to respond to current events, despite my imagery being derived primarily from vintage magazines.