In an increasingly digitized world, collage may be the artistic medium most at risk. The components of collage—typically cut or torn printed matter—lend themselves to digital replication in ways that thick applications of oil paint or delicate washes of watercolor simply can’t. And, thanks to cheaper and more sophisticated scanners and printers, bits of paper and other ephemera assembled artfully, even temporarily, can provide enough visual appeal to make the viewer believe that collage is a product of the digital age.
But the particular beauty of collages—single statements comprised of disparate fragments—lies, above all else, in its tactile expressiveness. The soul of the medium, as with oil on canvas or acrylic on board, can’t be separated from the richness of variation: matte vs glossy, pristine vs creased, ethereal vs emphatic, variations that lend depth and dimension, but which become flattened and lifeless in digital form.
Thankfully, both established and emerging artists continue to find expression through collage, and a new exhibit at the CCCA Gallery in Hudson, New York, brings a group of them together. Well Put Together: The Art of Collage & Assemblage, includes the work of New York artist and illustrator Terry Rosen, whose vibrant compositions, shown here, make creative use of ephemera found on the streets of New York City.
Photos: Terry Rosen