Recycled Art: Collage (Part 2)

“Every artist needs to find the right material through which he can express himself.” -David Mach, sculptor

Last week I wrote about a method of recycling old magazines etc to produce a work of art. In terms of collage making, this is an effective, but basic technique. However, artists are not restricted to paper based materials when creating their artwork. Almost any unwanted object can be recycled to become a part of a bigger, creative picture.

Here are a few examples of artists that use a broad range of resources:

Jane Perkins

I am a ‘re-maker’, taking inspiration from found objects and working them into something new.

Using mostly plastic materials (buttons, beads etc), Jane Perkins recreates paintings by the Old Masters. Inspired by Impressionism, Perkins’s artwork needs to be viewed from a distance to see the full picture, however a close-up look will reveal the thousands of ‘found’ objects used to produce such amazing outcomes.

Tom Deininger

Tom Deininger also uses plastics in his collages. If you look closely at his artworks, you will see that they are made up of small toys as well as buttons and other everyday objects. Not only must it be difficult to create a realistic image from the amalgamation of material, but we can imagine finding objects of the precise colour is a nightmare.

Zac Freeman

My final example today is Zac Freeman. Similarly to the previous two artists, Freeman uses found objects or ‘junk’ to build portraits that are better off viewed at a distance. Up close, evidence of buttons, beads, broken computer parts and lego bricks can be seen amongst the collection of materials. Whereas Perkins and Deininger painstakingly sought out particular colours,  Freeman has been more relaxed, using a rainbow of colour to produce an interesting effect.

What can you make with all the junk and unwanted objects around you? Perhaps you could recycle it into a fantastic work of art!

Recycled Art: Collage

Recycled art is not something that’s beautiful but just a waste of time and space. It’s like alchemy which turns base metal into gold, except that it turns trashes into gold.

In this day and age, recycling is something that is regarded as extremely important. The government leads us to believe that we are doing something good for the environment by placing paper, cardboard, plastic bottles etc into specially labelled bins. In actually fact, recycling is something that humans have been doing for centuries – it is human nature to reuse things, make-do-and-mend or just “I think I’ll put this broken thing in the shed, it may come in handy one day.”

Recycling can also play a role in art. Every artist is always creating some new – a new portrait, a new landscape painting, a new drawing and so forth. In fact, it is impossible to produce something old. The methods in which the artist goes about making their masterpiece, however, is not limited to new materials. Using pre-existing materials within artworks has become fairly popular in recent years. One such method is collage – a combination of materials stuck onto a backing to produce a picture or pattern.

Derek Gores

American artist Derek Gores, encompasses the idea of recycling in his captivating collages.  From using very simple materials – magazines and labels amongst other printed elements – Gores creates realistic images. From a distance, some of his work could be mistaken for photographs, which is amazing considering that they are nothing but cut up pieces of paper.

Gores is mostly influenced by past abstract painters – those whose works have so much going on, it is difficult to completely focus on the overall picture without being distracted by the odd element. Although his work is not abstract in the same sense, there is so much to look at due to the significant amount of collaged parts, that it becomes impossible to view in the same way one might look at a photograph or painting.

Whether or not Gores is possibly contributing to the environmentally conscious world through his use of recycled material is up for debate, but it is admittedly a fantastic and beautiful way of doing so. Anyone can cut up paper and stick it down, yet to create such vivid, lifelike images is a very rare skill – something for us all to be jealous of!