Digital collage print on paper
14 x 11.5 inches
This digital collage is a creative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced isolation motivated me to search for a different, fresh means of artistic expression. I've always regarded the complexity and chance collision of imagery in collage as nearest to poetry, whereas painting is equivalent to narrative fiction. Collage is also a puzzle that invites the viewer to piece together disparate images into some ineffable vision. Simultaneously, the fact that found and recycled images, or portions thereof, constitute all collage means that this imaginative art form maintains a connection with everyday reality. As for "Wünderkammer," my intentions were twofold. First, I wanted to demonstrate that digital art making can be accomplished without complicated, expensive software or cutting-edge hardware. This portrait, and other recent works, have been realized using only a standard word processing program. It's less efficient, but by carefully planning the "cut & paste," I've attained capable results. Second, as I mined internet picture files and began assembling this collage, I thought about those private and quirky collections of the wealthy and privileged, in 17th-century Europe. Known by the German word "wünderkammer," or "cabinets of wonder or curiosity," these collections of disparate objects, including art and natural specimens—along with invented “wonders”—attempted to present a world-picture. They are also acknowledged as the origin of today's public museums and galleries.