Inside Redbubble

Destruction and Creation: The Power and Freedom of Collage

Redbubble Resident Steve Leadbeater (Photo by: P1xels)

Perhaps because of its simplicity, collage can be thought of as a naive, purely decorative art form (see decoupage). More than mere cut-and-paste, collages can be powerful, complex pieces that manipulate context and spark imagination.

In the early 20th century, the Dadaists used collage techniques in their work provoking the art world and the general public. Reactions to their subversive creativity were severe and sometimes even violent.

Bankruptcy Vultures by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (Source: University of Woolongong).

Johannes Theodor Baargeld - 1920 (Source: http://boxandline.us)

The idea of collage is not limited to visual mediums. Writers, poets, and musicians have used the “cut-up technique” popularised by beat-era writer William S. Burroughs in the late 1950s and early 1960s, to randomly rearrange their own words and phrases to create new meaning and narratives – often with profound results. Musicians such as David Bowie, Thom Yorke (Radiohead), and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) have used variants of this technique to push boundaries in their work. So you’re in great  company if you decide to mix things up and experiment with collage.


An example of the cut-up technique by Ryan O'Rourke

Whenever context is obscured and something new emerges I consider it a type of collage. There has never been such a growing collage of cultures as the world is experiencing right now. It makes for an ever-changing (but leveled) playing field for creativity.

Some of world’s most respected artists have used collage to create mind twisting work that challenged everything before it and shaped what was to come. The next artist could be you. So make something — and show me (I’d love to see and experience it).

I’m running a masterclass at Redbubble HQ where you’ll learn how to use old school, cut and paste techniques to create something unique and unexpected from everyday items and images.

Places are limited — get on board right here:

I’ll also have a stall with unique art prints, postcards and original work at the Melbourne Finders Keepers Market. Don’t be fooled by my hipster-esque camouflage (thick glasses and beard) I’m still the eastern suburbs middle-class champion. Say hi and mention that you know me from Redbubble and I’ll discount some stuff. The market runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 4, October at the Royal Exhibition Building Carlton.

For details visit: http://www.thefinderskeepers.com/blog/tag/melbourne

To get you in the mood check out these inspirational Redbubble artists that create the unexpected from the familiar:

Sammy Slabbinck


Alvaro Sánchez

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