Collage as Collaboration

A working theory/

knezovich-mackowick collab1.jpg

I have a working theory that collage is always collaborative

By that I mean, as a starting point, you are always working with someone else's work: an old photograph or postcard or advertisement or book that someone else at some other time created.

Then, years later, someone like me comes along, cuts that artists original creation into pieces and then re-assembles the scraps (often combining the work of many disparate scraps) into a new whole.

I call this historical collaboration. 

But there is also contemporary collaboration, which is just a fancy way of describing two (or more) collage artists working together in the present moment to create a single piece of work. 

I guess this idea of collaboration is on my mind because I recently came across some work from 2014 that I did with Blake Mackowick—whose individual work is some seriously cool, seriously tripped out, seriously 80s inspired cut-and-paste.

Our process was pretty straightforward. We each created a stapled booklet and pasted a few random images on each page. Then we traded the booklets and used the starter images as the foundation for a finished collage. In the end, we each kept a finished book. 

It'd been a while since I'd looked at the work we made, and I was blown away by how fucking rad some of the pieces are, how they are such a perfect blend of our two aesthetics.

A small sampling of the pieces is below.