Collage/Mixed Media, February 2012
by Jessica J. Johnston
Well I’ll say, one benefit of being struck with a horrible infection all week has at least given me time to stretch my creative wings. I’ve been getting out the old paintbrushes & gorilla glue- all the old, hands on tools that have been collecting dust for far too long.
I worked on this collage (above) for about two days. I had found an old framed piece of (boring) art at a thrift store for $5, opened it up, & had my way with it. This is the end result. From bland, doctors office fruit in a bowl, now I have this colorful, dadaist inspired collage. Usually I don’t go so geometric with my work, but on this piece it seemed to work well. I used everything from an old edition from 1945 of The Kansas City Times (now the Kansas City Star), cut outs from old vinyl record albums & even sacrificed one of my postcards from my beloved Postcard collection.
My idea while working on this was as a reaction to society in general, but namely women & gender roles as well over the past sixty years – & basically, how so many things have changed in our society, but how many of them are still prevalent- though maybe not as “out in the open” as in previous generation. It amazed me the terms used in the newspaper stories from 1945- the words we now classify as “racial slurs.” And the countless Lose Weight!, Get Bigger Breasts! advertisements as well, that still run rampant in our culture, & are probably worse than they were then. (Or at least, as far as the media is concerned.) Naturally, a bit Dada inspired – as seems to be a theme of mine.
But like any piece of art, it’s obviously open to interpretation.
Your own love story? Your paramour may have had lovers before you. But no one has ever loved him the way you do. No one has ever heard music. Not the way you hear it. The songs are beautiful vampires, asleep in your iPod, coming alive at night, aglow. You can have them on your hours, yours to conduct. Music shapes us and we shape it. — Emma Forrest