Levi David Van Gelder (1816-1878) produced the earliest examples of his distinctive micrographic artistry, during the 1840s, while working as a printer and lithographer in his native Amsterdam. By imaginatively combining minuscule words and letters and integrating them with oversize decorative word panels, some accomplished by the application of collage elements, Van Gelder achieved his uniquely characteristic style of calligraphy and while still in Netherlands produced at least four separate exemplars of these engraved mizrah plaques. In 1864 Van Gelder, along with his wife and children, relocated to the United States where he settled in Chicago.
Alexis E. Mabry‘s assemblage paintings, mixed-media collages, and jewelry mix the macabre and the whimsical into a potpourri of lighthearted chaos. Wholesome American families from the 50s laugh while catching on fire, an eager young boy’s head flies off his body like a bloody rocket while opening Christmas presents, a lamb smiles wryly while getting stabbed by a dozen steak knives.
Her sources of reference and artistic material for her collages come from the same types of Christian books of older American life that she was forced to read in elementary school. A change of facial expression or of background scenery could easily transform these works into gruesome horror, but instead they become emblems of humor.
Dutch artist Eric Basstein started painting on an early age and at the age of 19 he went to art school. Although he didn’t had the right degree the school decided to take him in by judging his work. After two years he decided to quit school and start focussing on one of his other passions, music.
After 10 years in the music scene he felt that the need to paint again got bigger and bigger. In 2015 Eric decided to switch back to painting and this time with full focus. He took his experience from his musical background with him, and used that for his paintings. The use of multiple layers and all sorts of existing samples to create a new song inspired him. This is how Eric came up with the idea to make collages with samples of old paintings, comic books and fashion magazines. These collages are sketches for his paintings.
Eric’s blend of the historical and modern is sublime. His paintings blends realist figurative work inspired by old masters with abstractions taken from comic books and fashion. His work combines contemporary and classical references to create an astonishingly resonant dialogue with the viewer.
Matt Hansel’s work (previously featured here) wrestles with the concept of the self and the human desire to be seen and remembered. He brings the Renaissance into the 21st century through image manipulation and decontextualization, combining the rigor of traditional European painting with the conceits of 20th century conceptual art.
Sajjad Musa is a NYC based artist. Using a variety of techniques and mediums, Sajjad’s works primarily investigates inner city motifs and expresses them aesthetically and sonically, elevating the culture in a unique and unexpected way. Sajjad’s work is meticulously executed and socially aware, highlighting issues of mass consumption, connectedness and daily life. His works stand out through his use of materials and conceptual juxtapositions.
California based filmmaker and a digital collage artistEugenia Loli uses photography scanned from vintage magazines and science publications to create bizarre visual narratives that borrow from aspects of pop art, dada, and traditional surrealism.
Loli was born in Athens, grew up in the Northwest of Greece near the city of Preveza, and lived for a while in a small village in the mountains. She then moved to Braunschweig, Germany, and subsequently Surrey, England, before moving to the California Bay Area. While growing up in Greece, she liked to draw a lot, but because of the lack of economic opportunities, she decided to cast aside her aspirations of becoming an artist and decided to go into the tech field. She studied computer programming, which in turn led to a life in blogging, animation, and eventually, filmmaking and digital collage.
Matthew Craven challenges the sweeping narratives of American history textbooks, appropriating images of historical figures and sites and defacing or reconfiguring them within new aesthetic compositions. With his surreal mash-ups of historical references composed on antiquated paper, Craven creates his own pared-down symbols and mythologies. In combinations of illustration, collage, and painting, a march of tribal chieftains, Masonic leaders, and American generals and presidents appears in his images, their faces blotted out or colonized by Craven’s trademark geometric patterns.
Many of Craven’s images are ambiguous, resisting cohesive narratives or easy interpretation; the artist has said that his compositions are not dictated by any political agenda but are based solely on aesthetic consideration.
Matt Cunningham aka Moon Patrol is currently living in Sonoma County, California with his wife and infant daughter. He is a self-taught artist focusing on the collage technique via the digital medium. He finds the digital process is a streamlined and efficient method in regards to time and resources, while simultaneously allowing for an abundant amount of freedom for image manipulation and revision.
London based Canadian artist Anthony Gerace creates mysterious collages by combining vintage portraits with colorful tiles that fragment the image resulting in dreamy compositions in paper – often working chromatically, and using tiling to abstractive effect. Because parts of the subject’s face are hidden, the artworks leave the viewer to fill in the missing pieces with their imagination.
Prague, Czech Republic based Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu spent most of his years in the 60’s living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. The hermit-like artist had always kept his work under wraps for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had no one in particular to show it to, and secondly, its often biting political nature meant that while the communist regime held sway in Romania, it had to remain clandestine.
Today we can all enjoy his pieces. Barladeanu sees his works as miniature movies, the act of assembling clipped-out artwork on hand-painted backgrounds akin to the roles of screenwriter and director. While many of his works are infused with comedy or light-hearted satire, others are the stuff of subversive film noir.