My Life as a Collage

Collage is an organic process, disconcerting at first, like life really…
One needs to readjust the eye and the mind constantly in order to reinvent a coherence amidst the essential incoherence, the womb of my creative process.

Juxtaposing, overlaying disparate images from disparate substrates such as popular magazines, art reproductions, old drawings and paintings of mine, and cutting, sometimes following the contour line of the object, sometimes cutting across, cutting through, to destabilize comprehension. Cutting, and also tearing… marvelous thing this torn edge, furry, incisive, erratic…

Collage is not anti-painting. I do not reject painting, on the contrary, I amplify its scope, its power.
Collage adds a speculative dimension to imagery, it inscribes a memory in action…A physical and a cerebral activity, harmonizing together randomness and calculation, uncertainty and certainty, indetermination and determination.

I have many fathers and mothers. Picasso, Braque, Matisse, El Lissitsky, Arp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Dali, Duchamp, Schwitters, Hannah Hoech, Raushenberg…to name a few. They all taught me a lesson of life and freedom, they all teased my heart in an anarchist mockery of established art.
A transplantation, a transformation, above all a mutation…A simultaneous experience of matter, form, color, meaning, and dis-meaning…Collage is anti-authoritarian…my life…

Collage is an operation, a surgical operation of visual inputs. Grafting limbs where they are not supposed to be…Playing demiurge…for fun…yet…
Collage is a serious artistic force. A very demanding one too. Always searching for new materials to re-inhabit the impersonal surface of the paper or the canvas, or the wood panel…Scraps of time, unraveling memories, conscious or unconscious…

Because Collage is a self-discovery through imagery: “ce qui se voyait en moi” Ernst used to say. A psycho-analytic therapy which helps understand the process of becoming.

Thus, I infuse my world with animal, vegetable, mineral, and human shapes, as well as man made objects, mostly metallic, to create a mythical space, a mystical universe where everything is allowed to live and tell a story, together. Collage germinates with surprises, creates a fever of hieroglyphic shapes for the heart and the mind to decipher.

It takes hours, days, months, to cut out hundreds and thousands of shapes, small, very small, big, very big, bigger. Sometimes, I sort them by color, texture, subject matter, and I select the shape I want. Sometimes, I throw them into a big box, or on the floor –my hands swim an ocean of floating images- and I randomly pick. Then, in an act of reparation, I try to create order out of chaos. I never know where I am going. It always varies. It is never the same. Like life really…
Collage liberates my creativity.

In this alchemical process of identification, I am always guided, more or less consciously, by an inner sense of esthetics. I do not know where it comes from…Life, books, humor, political events, psychological experiences, and history of art….Dada, surrealism, expressionism, constructivism, photo-realism…all these “ism” dance on the chessboard of my brain…journeying memories. With Collage I can play with all systems and structures. I can “un-play” all the rules. Collage allows all possible declinations of imagery. Always deceiving the eye, deceiving perception, deceiving the mind, a sort of “trompe- l’oeil” of signification.

Arcane poetry of the image, decapitated, reassembled… disrupting the logic of this world and creating my own world, where composition, texture, color and signification become involved with one another, almost like a ballet…

DANCE YOUR LIFE, YOU ARE THE MUSIC
MY LIFE IS A COLLAGE