Collage 07: Sometimes The Words Just Come

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Photography has always felt like cheating to me, as if it were art that was half done before I even started. Dismembering my old prints of mostly documentary photos and reassembling them into franken-collages turns out to be much more satisfying. Who would have thought that adding the element of creativity to observation and composition would make art? As a side benefit, I get rid of all my excess inventory that I will never go to the trouble of selling. As I finish and photograph each piece, it leaps out of my life into recycle heaven, to be reborn as a Starbucks cup, toilet paper tube, or maybe some exotically shaped packing cushion. I get to create and purge simultaneously without having to vomit onto a canvas.

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Constructed from images collected in Laos, Texas, and Utah

Upper image from Bath, Maine

Ceedeecee Schmeedeecee

For anyone worried about The Administration Of The Rotten Mango taking all the Covid 19 data away from the CDC and giving it to the White House, fear not. First of all, the CDC had been effectively neutered by the Barking Yam when he appointed one of his cronies to lead gut it. Second, the New York Times has the most comprehensive database out there. They have been gathering data directly from the states since January. They also allow access to all their pandemic reporting, including interactive maps, without a subscription.

Photo of a Guacamaya (Scarlet Macaw) taken in 2008 at Copan Ruinas, Honduras.

Collage 03: Escape!

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Collage assembled by hand from three images: Painted mannequin, Tucson AZ; Fabric display, Chichicastenango, Guatemala; Graffito, Camaguey, Cuba.

I tried really hard to find the name of the Camaguey muralist.  I know I have come across it in the past.  If you know, please tell me so I can credit them.

Collage 01: The Church Of Gasoline

collage01smBuilt from three images captured in Nicaragua and Arizona

I have ten deep flat file drawers full of photographic prints left over from the three year  stint when I ran my own gallery here in Tucson. I changed the entire show every month whether I sold anything or not.  I never sold much.  Now, with my impending move to Oaxaca, I have no interest in keeping either the prints or the flat file.

The file is easy.  I already have a buyer. I had considered simply recycling all of the prints, but I’m really not interested in taking the time to go through them, mat and frame some at great expense, and then watch as people walk by them, maybe stopping to take a photo of my art with their phone.

Honestly I am not interested in selling my photography at all these days. It has been an interesting transition, from ambitious painter to working photographer to author who used to be those things. I pretty much quit painting after 35 years of focus and development within a style unique to me.  I’m proud of the body of work I produced, but  I couldn’t tell you where most of it is.  Family and friends have maybe a couple of dozen paintings.  I have six.  That is out of two or three hundred. I’m going to take one of the six I have to Oaxaca.  The others I will either sell or give away.

A friend of mine (@jannytaylorcreates on instagram) has been collaging her way through the pandemic, a collage a day.  She is really good at it.  I mean really good. I don’t aspire to equal her abilities, but now I have something to do with my photos.  I’m going to cut them all up and rearrange them.  Then I’m going to photograph the results and throw them away in the recycle bin. I should be able to work my way through them before I leave next summer, and it will be fun. Kind of like dreaming, where all my memories and thoughts from both my travels and my life here get chopped up and mixed into a fantastical stew. Maybe I’ll get even luckier and my collages will inspire me to stir up some words into something profound. Stay tuned…