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.
I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this, this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” And the guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much how I feel about relationships. Y’know, they’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and, but, uh, I guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.— Woody Allen, Annie Hall