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.
Anton Walker uses found art in his surrealistic digital collages. The work blends motifs of 1950’s style nostalgia, romantic hollywood or advertising themes with sci-fi, gas masks/war, pattern and nature to create an otherworldly sensation in the viewer.
While he may be using found art in the work, the pieces transcend and the work becomes unique and all his own.
German artist Pierre Schmidt, also known as “Drømsjel”, creates mind-bending imagery that combines illustration and collage techniques. His works are partly inspired by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who challenged ideas about individuality and the meaning of our existence.