Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Noticed: Collage Journals by Peter Jacobs

One of the pleasures of blogging is the way it connects the writer to other people with similar interests, but who live in different places, who have their own special skills and viewpoints.  I have found too many interesting artists who maintain blogs to be able to follow as much as I'd like.  Recently I followed a link in someone's post to a collage artist named Peter Jacobs.  What grabbed my attention was the way Jacobs uses the daily newspaper to make series of collage/journals.  These collages are both interesting visually, but they also are a record of news events and trends.  Jacobs manages to be inventive with this mundane source material every day, an achievement that humbles me. Click on his highlighted name and you'll see a couple years worth of his work.

How many of us have been at an art show of some sort and hear a passer-by comment that he or she could do just as well, and marveled at the hubris of the statement.  If you could do it, why in heavens name don't you?  I didn't think I could do as well as Jacobs, but I did try news collages two days this past week.  My first reaction is that he must have a much larger paper with which to work, but in truth most of my problem was just in how to select images and text, and then how to arrange them in an interesting ways, rather than not having enough from which to choose.

This was my first attempt, and I didn't have too much difficulty with choosing material.  Pretty much everything in our local paper on Monday was about the Packers win over the Chicago Bears.  With so many unemployed here in Janesville after GM pulled out, home foreclosures, tight school and municipal budgets, having happy news is probably necessary for mental health.

Today's effort was less successful.  The text suggests some of our local issues, and President Obama's picture grouped with another Packer image, and some protesters in Tunisia anchored the piece.  I was interested in the way the football player's arms echo the arms of the African protesters.  The collage took way too long for how it turned out.  It might be interesting to try a longer series - say a month, or several a month for a year.  But I think that this sort of collage technique probably is not one that I will use too often.  Still, it was interesting to give it a go. It might be interesting to try with a new magazine that would have more color source material with which to work.

I be interested to hear from anyone else that has tried collage journals.

1 comment:

JoAnn said...

I like his collages, but yours, with the text included, are much more journal-like. Without text, those pictures of his could be any time and any place. I "get" his concerpt, but .....