Looks Like Collage, But Not (Pt. 1)

Artwork_images_111741_552336_james-rosenquist

James Rosenquist, “Tosca” 2009

In the movie Holiday, Cary Grant’s motto is: “I just ask myself what General Motors would do, then I do the opposite.”

My parents, when it came to their kids, had a variation on this. They asked us what we wanted to do, then told us to do the opposite.

After I’d started collaging, my mother once asked, “Why put pieces together? Why don’t you just paint it that way in the first place?”

I doubt that James Rosenquist’s mother made that kind of an intervention. But nevertheless, the artist, who often made collages, did the work above which is mostly painting.  The lace is collaged, but the rest is painted to look like collage.  Why?

It’s all in the surfaces and the difference between a collaged and painted surface.  But the look of collage has become so central to the way we see things now, that
it can be hard to tell collage from the another medium mimicking collage—especially when we see the image, as we often do, on the computer screen.

Une affiche de campagne d'Angela Merkel à Hanovre, le 9 septembre.

A campaign poster of Angela Merkel (AFP/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

I came upon this photograph the other day in Le Monde and initially thought it was a collage.  Julian  Stratenschulte is a German photojournalist who seems to have a collage-trained eye. He sometimes captures images through his lens in which reality looks fractured and a bit surreal.

Picasso, back in the day, did newspaper-laced collages  touching on politics.  But he actually had to cut the paper.

Watch a short MOMA video with Rosenquist talking about his collage-like,, 86-foot-long painting F-111 here.

Image credits:   1)  Rosenquist    2) Stratenschulte

NOTE TO READERS: THE VIDEO BELOW IS NOT PUT THERE BY ME. IT IS A WORD PRESS AD AND IS NOT PART OF THE BLOG CONTENT!

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