Joe Brainard: “Strange Astounding Plots”

Photographers Unknown, Strange Astounding Plots

            “After a white reception in the crystal room of the Hotel
Kenmore, Mrs. George Eustic (Patricia Hays) and her husband
left on a wedding trip to the Pocono Mountains, Pa. They will
live in good old Noodleville.” (Home.)

Where the friendly purple heart is.

            I like to do things. I like to eat, and things like that. I like
the things that go on around me. People are nice. And, really, I
like this place I live in. However, some people don’t.

Sally doesn’t.

            Sick at heart, the trembling girl shuddered at the words
that delivered her to this terrible horrible fate of the East.
“Nasty!” How could she escape from this oriental monster
into whose hands she had fallen–this strange man whose face
none had seen.


It is only a little picture,
            In a little silver frame,
And across the back is written
            My darling mother’s name.

Pink and purple and orange ones with Venetian rose buds
Imported from Venetian
In eleven thrilling volumes

                        I heard a shot—I saw him run—then I saw her fall—the
woman I love. My leg was broken—and my gun was gone! I had
only one thought—(tee hee!)—his strange, astounding plots
must be avenged—he must die for a coward at my hands! He had
the courage of a lion and the cunning of a rat. He came running
towards me when—suddenly, I—

Forgetting the ripped lace, $35, green violence, & free samples.

“I always run when I hear 3 rings!”

. . ..and remember those swell picnics in Birch Grove?

Joe Brainard, Picnic or Yonder Comes the Blue, The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, 2012 The Library of America

Born in Salem, Arkansas in March of 1942, Joe Brainard was an American writer, poet, and artist associated with the New York School, a group of artists and writers who drew inspiration from the contemporary avant-garde art movements. His innovative body of work included paintings, collages, assemblages, album and book cover designs, as well as, theatrical costume and set designs. As a poet, Brainard was a pioneer in the New York literary movement for his use of comics as a poetic medium. 

Brainard spent his childhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma where, during his high school years, he became friends with future poets Ron Padgett, Dick Gallup and Ted Berrigan. He worked as the art editor for five issues of the high school’s literary journal, “The White Dove Review”, published in the 1959/1960 school year. Brainard had a modest solo exhibition of his artwork, which included some of his first collages, at the small local art center The Gallery. He  briefly attended the Dayton Art Institute in the autumn of 1960 before his move to New York City.

After reuniting in New York City with his high school friends, Joe Brainard shared an East Village apartment on East 6th Street with Ted Berrigan. The city’s many museums, art galleries and movie theaters became a source of inspiration for him. By September of 1961, Brainard had enrolled at the Art Student League and was studying under portrait painter Robert Brackman who was known for his large figurative works. Despite his financial struggles, Brainard continued to produce collages and small assemblages in the city and, later, in Boston during his ten-month stay in 1963. 

In late December of 1963, through the assistance of Ted Berrigan, Brainard began sharing an apartment on East 9th Street with the poet Tony Towle. The assemblages he created in 1964 at this new space went into his first New York solo exhibition at the Alan Gallery in January of 1965. Brainard became a member of both the artistic and literary circles in New York. Among his circle of friends were poets and writers such as Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery, and artists such as Alex Katz, Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, and Fairfield Porter.

Joe Brainard began his art career during the early Pop Art movement; however, the wide breadth of his work resists categorization. As a unified whole, the same qualities are apparent in everything he produced: bold simplicity, accuracy of execution, humor, and a low-key sense of the ordinary as sacred. Brainard was able to find the essential details in life experiences and, both vividly and spontaneously, express them in his work. In essence, he was able to locate the extraordinary in the ordinary, as well as make the extraordinary seem ordinary.

During his lifetime, Brainard was the author of five personal publications and collaborated on an additional nineteen publications with other poets and writers. The best known of the personal work are his “I Remember” volumes that were radical departures from the conventions of the traditional memoir. The 1970 “I Remember” depicts his Oklahoma childhood in the 1940s and 1950s as well as his life in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. His life stories, told through a stream of consciousness, list remembered moments prefixed by the phrase “I remember. . .”. Two sequels followed: the 1972 “I Remember More” and the 1973 “More I Remember More”. 

Joe Brainard produced several comic book collaborations with poets and was well regarded for his work as a theatrical set designer and visual artist. Among Brainard’s many New York School friends was poet, author and publisher Kenward Gray Elmslie who became a long-time partner. Elmslie’s Z Press published many works by the New York School, including works which combined Brainard’s art with Elmslie’s own poems. Elmslie also collaborated on operas with Jack Benson and Ned Rorem, and also worked with lyricist John Latouche.

After his success as an artist and poet, Brainard retired from the art world in the early 1980s and devoted his last years to reading. He died in New York City, at the age of fifty-two,  on May 25th of 1994 from AIDS-induced pneumonia. Brainard’s art can be found in many private collections and in the public collections of the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Note: An article “Joe Brainard in 1961-1963”, written by his friend and fellow poet Ron Padgett, contains photographs of Brainard’s early works, many never seen by the public. This article can be found at:

Top Insert Image: Pat Padgett, “Joe Brainard, Calais, Vermont”, 1992, Color Print, Private Collection

Second Insert Image: Joe Brainard, “Hot Fudge Sunday”, 1965, C Comics No. 2, Boke Press, Private Collection

Third Insert Image: Joe Brainard, “48 Squares”, Date Unknown, Gouache, Graphite, Ballpoint Pen, Felt Tip Marker and Paper Collage on Paper, 34.3 x 27 cm, Private Collection 

Bottom Insert Image: Joe Brainard, Untitled (Still Life), 1968, Watercolor on Paper, Private Collection

Georges Noël

The Artwork of Georges Noël

Born in December of 1924 in Béziers, one of the oldest cities in France, Georges Noël was a French painter. His work was greatly influenced by two French avant-garde art movements: Nouveau Réalisme, founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany and painters Raymond Hains and Yves Klein which made extensive use of collage and assemblage, and French Art Informel, an approach to abstraction in the !940s and 1950s that emphasized improvisation and highly gestural techniques. 

Raised in the Castellón city of Pau, Georges Noël initially was an engineering student before his 1939 to 1945 studies of sculpture and painting. After his graduation, he worked for nine years as a draftsman and designer with the aeronautical firm Turboméca, a manufacturer of gas turbine turboshaft engines. In 1956, Noël relocated to Paris where, deeply impressed by the paintings of artists such as Jean Dubuffet and Paul Klee, he devoted his energies to painting. 

Noël’s painting was associated with the French and Italian Informel movement. He was an admirer of the work by Lucio Fontana, an Argentine-Italian painter best known for his tagli, slashed, mostly monochromatic canvases. Noël was also friends with Nouveau Réalisme artists Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villéglé and François Dufréne. He achieved recognition and commercial success through his representation with noted art dealer Paul Facchetti. Noël’s first solo exhibition was at the Facchetti gallery in 1960; he regularly exhibited there from 1957 to 1968. 

During his stay in Paris, Georges Noël began to use paper laid down on canvas or torn and collaged newspaper as partial foundations for his painting. For his impasto, material paintings, he developed a mixture of powdery pigments, sand and polyvinyl glue which he layered onto canvas. In a gestural-automatic manner, Noël scratched symbolic signs or script into the partly hardened layer of paint to form the images he termed ‘Palimpseste’. With this term, he referred to the early stage of writing done by many cultures which involved the erasing and re-engraving of writen elements on stone or clay tablets. Noël’s wide vocabulary of signs showed his interest in the magic, symbolism and mystery of prehistoric, Mycenaean-Archaic and indigenous cultures.

In 1963 at a medieval abbey in Rowen, Noël met Margit Rowell who was training to be a medievalist. She would become his wife, life-time companion, and a  veteran art historian and curator with key positions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York. Feeling restless and seeking a change in venue and style, Noël moved with Rowell to New York City in 1968. After research and experimentation, he found the visual, geometric language he wanted to express in his work. Noël was represented by and exhibited with two major New York galleries from 1969 to his return to France: the internationally-based Pace Gallery and the renowned Arnold Herstand Gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street.

In 1982, Georges Noël and Rowell returned to France where he had a major exhibition at the Abbaye de Senanque in Provence, which was followed in 1985 by a retrospective at the Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Paris. Noël’s late stylistic development showed a unification of the gestural painting of his early work and the more structural compositions of his New York period. From 1985 forward, he exhibited regularly in Italy, Germany, and Japan. Noël’s work is currently represented for France by the Galerie Christophe Gaillard.

Through all the unusual diversity of styles during his fifty-year career, Georges Noël’s textured canvases and graphic interventions remained constant. His works on paper show the same spontaneous scripts and signs, either on wash, collaged or built-up surfaces. Considered one of the most important representatives of the French Informel movement, Georges Noël passed away in Paris in 2010 at the age of eighty-six. 

Noël’s work is found in private collections and institutions throughout the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bibliothèque National and the F.N.A.C. in Paris, and the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, among others. 

Notes: Georges Noël’s paintings, drawings and publications can be found at his website located at:

An informative interview between writer and curator Tenzing Barshee and Margit Rowell on Georges Noël’s life and work process can be found at the Mousse Magazine website located at:

Second Insert Image: Georges Noël, “Ohne Titel”, 1987, Mixed Media on Canvas, 106.5 x 75 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Georges Noël, “Palimpseste, Sones de Pensée”, 1962, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 116.5 x 89 cm, Private Collection

Burgess (Jess) Franklin Collins

The Artwork of Jess Collins

Born in Long Beach, California in August of 1923, Burgess (Jess) Franklin Collins was an American visual artist best known for his elaborate collages that addressed science, mysticism, sexuality, history and popular culture. In his early years, he read books which ranged from Proust to L. Frank Baum, listened to classical music, and constructed scrapbooks with a great aunt. 

In 1942, Jess Collins entered the California Institute of Technology to study chemistry; however with the start of World War II, he was drafted in 1943 into the Army Corps of Engineers.  Collins worked in a junior position at the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the production of plutonium for atomic bombs until 1946. Upon his release from military service, he continued his education at California Institute and graduated with honors in the field of radiochemistry. Collins was given a position at the Hanford Atomic Energy Project located on the Columbia River in the state of Washington.

During his employment at the Hanford site, Jess Collins began adult education classes to study painting. Due to his growing concerns about the nature of his work in the atomic energy sector and the future of the industry, he left his position and decided to pursue a full-time career in the arts. Collins moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began to study art: first at the University of California at Berkeley and later at the California School of Fine Arts. Due to an estrangement with his family, Collins changed his name during this period of study to the singular Jess.

At the California School of Fine Arts, Jess studied with visual artist Elmer Bischoff, a forerunner of Abstract Expressionism in the Bay Area; abstractionist painter Edward Corbett, known for his use of the color black in his work; painter Hassel Smith, whose work went through a succession of art forms from plein air to figurative expressionism; and Clyfford Still, whose work encompassed a wide range of materials. Jess quickly became a member of the 1950s San Francisco art scene and was actively engaged in exhibitions, poetry readings and other creative activities in the area. 

In 1951, Jess met poet Robert Duncan, a member of the Black Mountain College and one of the most influential post-war American poets. They began a lifelong romantic relationship that evolved into a domestic household and an artistic collaboration that became central to the development of their art and poetry. This relationship lasted until Duncan’s death in 1968, thirty-seven years later. Along with abstract expressionist Harry Jacobus, Jess and Duncan opened the King Ubu Gallery in 1952, a venue which became an important exhibition space for alternative art in San Francisco.

Inspired by a gift from Duncan of “ Une Semaine de Bonté”, Max Ernst’s surrealist collage book, Jess began making collages, or Paste-Ups, in the early 1950s. These works, which combined text and image fragments from engravings, photographs, jigsaw pieces, and comic strips, became increasingly more complex over time. Eventually the Paste-Ups would contain thousands of distinct pieces. In 1959, Jess began a series of thirty-two works, entitled “Translation”. Each of the works were painted, enlarged reproductions of found images, such as children’s book illustrations and scientific drawings from old Scientific American periodicals, After being copied on new canvases, the paintings were combined with literary texts from such authors as William Blake, Gertrude Stein, and Plato.

The “Scavenger” series was based on painted or repainted canvases found in  thrift shops. Thick layers of paint were applied covering parts of the former works while leaving other image areas exposed for viewing. Built in layers, the thick new paint reinterpreted the existing work with its added texture and images. The 1959 “Narkossos” began as a pencil drawing for a painting that was based on the myth of Narcissus. This initial drawing became a large scale mixed-media work of graphite rendering and paste-up fragments featuring references from literary and popular culture. This large-scale work with original artist’s frame is currently housed in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

For the remainder of his life, Jess lived and worked in San Francisco except for a period of travel with Duncan in the mid-1950s to Europe and the Black Mountain College. The couple entertained their extensive but intimate circle of friends at their large Victorian home in the Mission District. The household was filled with artworks by Jess and their many friends, Duncan’s vast library, the couple’s recorded music collection, and many beautiful domestic objects salvaged by Jess from thrift shops. Jess had a major retrospective of his work in 1993-1994 which toured museums in San Francisco, Buffalo, and Washington, DC. 

Jess died of natural causes at his San Francisco home on the second of January in 2004 at the age of eighty. His work appears in major museum collections around the country including: the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art and the Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco. His work is now represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York City.

Note: The Jess Collins Trust established an archive for Jess’s papers and writings in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. The Trust, which contains images of Jess’s work, exhibition and event information, and information on Robert Duncan’s work, can be found at:

Top Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, “Jess, Berkeley, California”, 1956-57, Gelatin Silver Print

Second Insert Image: Helen Adam, “Jess Collins, Beach Near Pidgeon Point”, Date Unknown

Third Insert Image: Jess Collins, “Untitled (Car and Male Nude), Date Unknown, Collage, 30.5 x 20.3 cm, Private Collection

Bottom Insert Image: Photographer Unknown, “Jess Collins and Robert Duncan, Stinson Beach”, 1958-59

John O’Reilly

The Montage Work of John O’Reilly

Born in February of 1930 in Orange, New Jersey, John O’Reilly was an American artist whose intricate assemblages combine art, literature, history, and autobiography. His works of montage, both paper and photographic, investigate the issues of religion, violence and eroticism in society. O’Reilly studied at Syracuse University in New York where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1952. After serving in the Army, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from which he graduated in 1956 with a Master of Fine Arts. While at the Art Institute, he met sculptor James Tellin, who became his lifelong partner and, later, husband in 2013.

Upon graduation, O’Reilly supported himself as an art therapist at the Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts for twenty-seven years. He made small, intricate photo-collages in private for many years, only sharing them with close friends. In O’Reilly’s work, foreground and background are merged together to form the plane on which are placed fragmented images: Greek statues, Titian paintings, heads of World War Two soldiers, self-portraits, clippings from gay porn magazines, and works by Cézanne, Caravaggio and Vermeer, among others. O’Reilly’s works are in the same tradition as that of the boxed found-object assemblages created by Joseph Cornell, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage.

One of John O’Reilly’s first works was his 1965 “Self Portrait”, in which he combined polaroid images of himself with astronomic images and details from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. During the 1970s, he combined in his collages images of  California’s west-coast modern architecture with works by Poussin, Titian and other historical art references. O’Reilly first started publicly exhibiting his photo montages at the age of fifty. One of his first exhibition was in 1983 at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. O’Reilly exhibited his work multiple times through the 1980s, including solo shows at New York’s Alan Stone Gallery and Boston’s Howard Yezerski Gallery, and a 1985 group show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

John O’Reilly’s main subject in his 1900s work was the topic of war which he felt was a great obscenity. Exhibitions during the period included group shows at the John Weber Gallery and the Wessel & O’Connor Gallery in New York, a solo exhibition at New York’s Julie Saul Gallery, and another group show at MOMA. In 1995, art dealer and curator Klaus Kertess, the owner of New York’s Bykert Gallery,  selected a number of O’Reilly’s images for inclusion in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Works during this period of the 1990s included stage dioramas from his series “Occupied Territories”, which featured bodies from gay porn magazines collaged to the heads of German soldiers from World War II; these newly eroticized figures were then attached to scenes from painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s landscapes. 

Starting in the early 2000s, O’Reilly began to remove his image from his photo montages. The collages became more dense in appearance, fragmented and austere with his only appearance being one reflected in images of glass shards. Endlessly suggestive, the montages contain shadows drifting from bodies and body parts wafting out of open mouths. Discarding the seamlessness of his previous works’ backgrounds, O’Reilly began using complex, intersecting lines at the edges of his collage work which pushed his work closer to abstraction.

John O’Reilly, at the age of ninety-one, died of a stroke on May 20th of 2021 in the Briarwood retirement community of Worcester. He was survived by his husband, James Tellin, and his brother Edward. The majority of O’Reilly’s work, a collection in excess of thirteen-hundred works, is now housed at the Addison Gallery of the Phillips Academy. His work is included in the collections of many museums including Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

“I have to fight intellect — my work needs to look like one unit without looking like a collage. It starts with an idea, then I go through book after book until I find something, over a long period of time. I call them montages, where one thing logically flows into another.”—John O’Reilly, The Brooklyn Rail, 2017

Note: A collection of twelve black and white photomontages by John O’Reilly can be found at the online Queer Arts Resource located at:

Top Insert Image: Seth David Ruben, “John O’Reilly”, 2021

Second Insert Image: John O’Reilly, “Tears”, 1999,  Polaroid Montage, 20 x 17.1 cm

Third Insert Image: John O’Reilly, “Umbrella”, 1981, Paper Montage, 20.3 x 20.3 cm

Bottom Insert Image: John O’Reilly, “A Constellation”, 1982, Caseine and Halftone Montage, 25.4 x 17.3 cm


Hector de Gregorio

Paintings by Hector de Gregorio

Born in Valencia, Hector de Gregorio is a Spanish painter and digital artist. He had his foundational fine art taining at Camberwell Art College in London. Between 2004 and 2007, De Gregorio studied Fine Art at London’s Central Saint Martin’s, where he earned his BA in 2007. He later earned his MFA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009. 

Hector de Gregorio was influenced in his formative years by his Catholic upbringing, which furthered his interests in devotional art from different religions, and by his mother, a dressmaker who taught him the skills of design and tailoring. He was also interested in European art: the sensuality of Filippo Lippi’s figures, the realism and dramatic lighting of Caravaggio’s work, the religious narrative works of Hieronymus Bosch, and the surrealist work of  Salvador Dali. All these elements combine to give de Gregorio’s work, although contemporary in appearance,  a familiar medieval atmosphere with overtones of a mythological or religious nature.

De Gregorio’s work is both meticulous and labor intensive. Each image entails extensive costume design research, photographic shoots, digital imaging, and hand finishing of the final image. De Gregorio begins by photographing his friends, dressed in personally made elaborate costumes, at his studio. Taking a number of photos from the shoot, he fashions a collage that distorts the perspective of the image. To these images, de Gregorio digitally adds elements such as colored backdrops, Latin phrases, and other motifs with either mythical or religious references. This finished product is printed on either canvas or fine art paper, and overlaid with waxes, oil paints, gold leaf and varnish.

Hector de Gregorio has exhibited widely, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Milan, New York, Miami and Chicago.  In November 2009, he won the prestigious annual Young Masters Art Prize for his inspiring contemporary portraiture. In 2012 Hector de Gregorio exhibited his “Absinthes” in  “The Perfect Place to Grow”, an exhibition of work by the alumni of the Royal College of Art to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

Bottom Insert Image: Hector de Gregorio, “Self Portrait”, Date Unknown, Mexed Media on Paper

Tony Fitzpatrick


Etchings and Collages by Tony Fitzpatrick

Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1958, Tony Fitzpatrick Is an American actor and artist. In the early 1980s, he seriously began drawing with colored pencils on slate boards in the gallery “The Edge”, located in Villa Park, Illinois. Working there during the day, he tended bar at night just across the street. It was during this time that Fitzpatrick developed strong friendships with film director Jonathan Demme and Chicago radio personality and bluesman Buzz Kilman.

During the late 1980s, Fitzpatrick began exhibiting in gallery shows in New York City and Chicago, selling his work and establishing a career as an artist. An accomplished poet, he has authored and illustrated eight books, including “The Hard Angels: Drawings and Poems” in 1988 and the 2015 essay and art book “Dime Stories”. With assistance from friends and local artists Theresa James and Steve Campbell of Landfall Press, Fitzpatrick opened in 1992 his Chicago printmaking studio, Big Cat Press, which exists today as the artist exhibition space Firecat Projects.

Tony Fitzpatrick’s artistic career originally centered on multi-colored drawings on slate, later followed by works presented through printmaking. He has more recently focused on producing multi-media collage drawings, which blend cartoonish drawing, found images, text, and  ephemera, such as baseball cards and matchbooks. His subjects have included: memories of his father, the cities of Chicago and New Orleans, hobo symbols, super-heroes, and Japan.

Fitzpatrick’s works are in private collections and numerous public institutions, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  He has done cover art for albums, such as the Neville Brothers “Yellow Moon”, nominated for the Diamond Award: Best Album Cover, and Lou Reed’s album “Big Cat”. Working as an actor, Fitzpatrick had roles in “Primal Fear”, “Philadelphia”, and “Married to the Mob”.  

Takahiro Kimura

Takahiro Kimura, Titles Unknown, 2000, Paint and Collage on Canvas

Born in the Fukuoka Prefecture of Tokyo in 1965, Takahiro Kimura is a Japanese animator, illustrator, and character designer. He studied painting and graphic design at Salesian Polytechnic. Kimura later studied drawing, landscape painting and fashion design at Setsu Mode Seminar. While experimenting with collages and combining paint and photographs, he produced illustrations for books and advertisements. 

Kimura’s work focuses on the human face. His collages are formed by arranging different segments of facial photographs and applying overlays of paint. With this distortion process,  Kimura attempts to expose the human spirit in his figurative work. He has also produced several collage animations, a short film, and an art book entitled “Risky Dolls

Several of Takahiro Kimura’s animation films, as well as collages and paintings, can be found on

Michael Sansky

Michael Sansky, “Study for Giants and Dwarves VI”, 1998-2000, Collage, Oil and Plastic Objects on Carved Wood, Private Collection

Writing about the exhibition “Land Mine” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, art curator Jessica Hough wrote:

“In the kinetic sculpture from the series Giants and Dwarfs, Zansky manipulates scale using a series of large lenses positioned around a rotating carved wooden object. The object, which has been carved from plywood, looks like driftwood, a desiccated animal carcass, or a meteor – morph the viewer’s perspective so that the object continues to shape-shift. It is large and small; organic and celestial. Zansky’s sculpture, along with all of the work in “Land Mine”, reminds us that truth must be mined and that human history easily eludes us.”

Julia Lillard

Julia Lillard, “Spirit Animal”, Date Unknown, Collage

Julia Lillard is a self-taught Oklahoma artist who, for the most part, creates surreal digital and paper collage. Her first love was art photography, but in her 50s, that developed into a love for collage and abstract paintings. She has a range of styles that are somewhat eclectic, and her imagination is triggered by any image, color or situation that catches her attention. Julia lets something outside of herself take over and she usually has no idea what the end result will be.

Reblogged with many thanks to the artist’s site:

Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet, “Paysage aux Argus”, 1955, Collage with Butterfly Wings, 20,5 x 28,5 cm, Collection Fondation Dubuffet, Paris

“The things we truly love, the things forming the basis and roots of our being, are generally things we never look at. A huge piece of carpeting, empty and naked plains, silent and uninterrupted stretches with nothing to alter the homogeneity of their continuity. I love wide, homogenous worlds, unstaked, unlimited like the sea, like high snows, deserts, and steppes.”

“Art doesn’t go to sleep in the bed made for it. It would sooner run away than say its own name: what it likes is to be incognito. Its best moments are when it forgets what its own name is.”                                                                             ― Jean Dubuffet

Michael Pajon

The Collage Artwork of Michael Pajon

Michael Pajon, born in 1979 in Chicago, currently lives and works in New Orleans. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2003 with a focus in printmaking. Eventually gravitating to the graphic nature of the medium that closely resembled the comics he loved, Pajon worked closely as an assistant/studio manager to renowned artist Tony Fitzpatrick.

During this time, Pajon started making assemblages of the bits and pieces he had accumulated from alleys, junkshops, and thrift stores, slicing up old children’s book covers and rearranging their innards into disjointed tales of Americana. Pajon’s work has been exhibited in various venues worldwide, including the Illinois State Museum; Chicago Cultural Center; Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York; Nau-haus Art Space, Houston, and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans.

“These maps, postcards, children’s book illustrations, matchbooks, sheet music, and calling cards are the guts and gristle of common things people collected over a life, spared the fate of being buried in the rubble and shadows of once prosperous towns. This group of work contemplates the most humble of human remains: old matchbooks from junk shops, antique postcards and books, sheet music, cracker jack toys, and other objects once treasured, lost and resurrected. By collaging these elements amidst drawings and other media, I create small relationships to arrive at a whole image. Like delicate strands of DNA, these tiny pieces in combination hold the key to unique identity – the common as well as the fantastic.” – Michael Pajon

Carmine Santaniello

Carmine Santaniello, “Amore”, Lithograph, 9 x 12 Inches

Collage is an integral part of New York City-based Carmine Santaniello’s art and is usually the starting point for each work. Employing the traditional method of cut and glued paper, he creates new faces out of amassed facial images. He incorporates elements of his own photographs of exterior environments such as graffiti or street art. Some works remain as collage, some become drawings, some artist books or articulated paper dolls, but most become monoprints utilizing lithography.

Through the juxtaposition of techniques and mediums, he creates evocatively charged works of art. These new works have an erotic edge with a voyeuristic feel to them. Each subject is confined behind a the vale of marred graffiti-like images.

Reblogged with many thanks to the artist’s site:    and

Being and Nothingness

Artist Unknown, “Embrace Nothingness”, Collage, Noirgraph

“From the very fact, indeed, that I am conscious of the motives which solicit my action, these motives are already transcendent objects from my consciousness, they are outside; in vain shall I seek to cling to them: I escape from them through my very existence. I am condemned to exist forever beyond my essence, beyond the affective and rational motives of my act: I am condemned to be free.” –

Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

Image reblogged with many thanks to the artist’s site:

Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet, “Casino la Colle”, November 1955, Oil on Canvas Collage on Canvas, 23 x 28 Inches, Private Collection

Jean Dubuffet was an integral French artist known for his primal paintings and sculptures of vernacular subjects. His adoption of the term Art Brut or raw art, referred to the art of children, prisoners, and the mentally ill, was a reaction to what he called art culturel or refined art. It was his desire to break from tradition by implementing rudimentary mark making and emulsions made from sand, tar, and trash.

“A work of art is only of interest, in my opinion, when it is an immediate and direct projection of what is happening in the depth of a person’s being. It is my belief that only in this Art Brut can we find the natural and normal processes of artistic creation in their pure and elementary state.” – Jean Dubuffet

Adam Collier Noel

Adam Collier Noel, “ Hunting the Hart (For Frida)”, Collage, Painting

“The “For Frida” series utilizes paper ephemera consisting of receipts, handwritten letters, playing cards, blue prints, etc. as a way of constructing my own nostalgic portraits. A silhouette is then transferred over the collage leaving revealing a figurative window of my found object composition. The black squares act as the framework for a void or missing part of the individual.            – Adam Collier Noel

Image reblogged with thanks to the artist’s site:

José Naranja

José Naranja: Sketchbooks

José Naranja beautifully detailed sketchbooks by collaging elements of photography, writing, stamps, and his own precise drawings of everything from poison mushrooms to a bird’s eye view of his dream studio. The ex-aeronautic engineer began working with sketchbooks after he discovered pocket-size Moleskine notebooks in 2005 and realized they were the perfect vessel to document his daily experiences and develop his wildest ideas. After 13 years of using the same style of notebook, Naranja now crafts his own by hand.

“It creates a special link between my journals and me. Drawings of calligraphy are just useful tools to express ideas They are the visible layer in the whole notebook as a piece, a mandala, and it’s the final artwork. Every detail in the process should be taken into consideration because I give the best effort. At the moment they have given me back only good news.”- José Naranja

The sketchbook artist also sells edited copies of his best work in a compilation called “The Orange Manuscript”, which you can find on his website.

Tadanori Yokoo

Illlustration by Tadanori Yokoo

Tadanori Yokoo’s work, while highly successful commercially, is deeply personal. Employing his own themes, pictures, and references to himself and his anti-modernist collage style, his approach is instantly recognizable and individual. He has said that he learned in the late 1960s “to escape from compromise when designing by linking my creations directly to my lifestyle.”

Yokoo’s work crosses the border between design and fine art. Seemingly devoid of limitations or rules, his paintings are warm, autobiographical, and mystical and draw on a variety of seemingly incongruous influences such as spiritualism, Japanese aesthetics, the psychedelic posters of the ’60s, science fiction, and comic art. It also consciously draws on Ukiyo-e, or “the art of the floating world,” whose themes express the impermanence of life.

Several motifs recur in Yokoo’s work. His fascination with waterfalls borders on obsession. In 1999, in a group exhibition titled “Ground Zero Japan” at the Mito Museum of Art, Yokoo filled an entire room from floor to ceiling with postcards of waterfalls which were reflected in a black mirrored floor. Other exhibitions on the subject include “Craze for Waterfalls” at the Kirin Art Space Harajuku and “Tadanori Yokoo’s Magical Make a Pilgrimage Round” exhibition. In 1992, Absolut Vodka commissioned him to design an advertisement titled Absolut Yokoo featuring twenty-five of his waterfall paintings.

Yokoo is also known for his science-fiction posters and Ken Takakura gangster-film posters, and his designs have been used for theater sets in Japan and Italy.

David Hockney

David Hockney, “Pearblossom Hwy. 11- 18th April 1986, #2″, Chromogenic Print, J. Paul Getty Museum

“Pearblossom Highway (the painting) shows a crossroads in a very wide open space, which you only get a sense of in the western United States… . [The] picture was not just about a crossroads, but about us driving around. I’d had three days of driving and being the passenger. The driver and the passenger see the road in different ways. When you drive you read all the road signs, but when you’re the passenger, you don’t, you can decide to look where you want. And the picture dealt with that: on the right-hand side of the road it’s as if you’re the driver, reading traffic signs to tell you what to do and so on, and on the left-hand side it’s as if you’re a passenger going along the road more slowly, looking all around. So the picture is about driving without the car being in it.”     – David Hockney

Thus David Hockney described the circumstances leading to the creation of this photocollage of the scenic Pearblossom Highway north of Los Angeles. His detailed collage reveals the more mundane observations of a road trip. The littered cans and bottles and the meandering line where the pavement ends and the sand begins point to the interruption of the desert landscape by the roads cutting through it and the imprint of careless travelers.