Friday, 2 May 2014



Rauschenberg’s collages are extremely varied in their look and incorporate silk screen printing at a lower level of the painting with collage and sometimes paint on top.  His compositions therefore are interesting therefore not only because of their variety of style but method also. His subject matter is more political and global.

By contrast Rotella is mainly fixated on Marilyn Monroe in particular and the film world in general so his works become rather monotonous.  He uses torn strips and displays the look of old posters. He doesn’t appear to use paint, if he does, it is minimal. As far as Rotella's Marilyn Monroe pictures are concerned a similarity can be drawn between his collages and Andy Warhol's screen printing, the medium is different but the image as an icon is the same.

Another artist who uses a similar old poster look but in my view more cleverly than Rotella, is Raymond Hains.  His collage is often torn right back to almost nothing and he uses very little additional paint.  The way he tears his strips is often very different, sometimes thin, sometimes blocks, but the finished works are visually appealing.

Romare Bearden features Jazz and the black community in his collages they are represented in a much more realistic/narrative way than the previous artists.  He is literally picture making with collage. The colours  he uses for the musical scenes are bright and suggestive of jazz. He probably uses paint as a background but doesn’t seem to use paint on the top surface over the collage, unless it is used very subtlety.

Tim Shepard’s work has great appeal for me, I like his densely packed collages as well as his landscape work, Spitalfields for example. I also think he is right that memory is collage. We only retain fragments of memories and, for me at least, my memory doesn’t run like a cine camera. It is a collection of fragments stitched together in my memory to almost give the appearance of film frames and that is what Tim Shepard’s work is like it includes misplaced or incomplete scraps of memory, so in that sense his work is more realistic than Realism with a capital ‘R’.

Daniel Pitin is a collage artist who incorporates figurative art into his work and he creates haunting images, which, because of his background can seem dark and occasionally threatening.  Like Shepard his work has narrative and has the look of a real space until you look more closely and you realize the impossibility of some of the architecture. 

I feel the difference, if there is one, between today’s collage artists and earlier work is the element of semi realism, particularly using architecture.  David Mach, is another who uses this method.  The use of computers has also appeared more in contemporary work, if not to create the image then to help with the layout.

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