In 2015, I went to a house party and was struck by a piece of art in the host’s entry way. It was a paper collage made of torn magazines that depicted the famous National Geographic photograph of a young girl in Afghanistan. It’s one of my favorite photographs of all-time and this torn paper version brought it to life in a whole new way. I love how the artists took a found object we all have piled up in our homes and turned it into something brand new.
Sometimes art just grabs you and won’t let you go until you do something about it. Inspired by the piece I saw, I started to look through my own giant stack of magazines at home and separated the pages by their primary color.
I was struck by how many glossy advertisements tell us we need to buy more to be more. I felt an urge to tear the paper to pieces and put it back together in a whole new way.
I started googling how-to paper collage and chose a few images on which to model my first collage. Many hours and thousands of bits of colorful magazine ads glued onto canvas conspired to help me create that first piece.
Now over 20 pieces later, I see transforming ads into art as a creative act of defiance and a meditation on what beauty means.
My first piece of published collage art will appear in Stone Canoe in March 2023.