Friday, 15 June 2012
the definition of life
I only just started making collages in 2010, so I don't have much of quality to show you that hasn't already been posted to this blog. But this collage was sort of a turning point in my early work. I think the composition works, and I was pleased to be able to incorporate meaningful text in this way.
The background is the Japanese alphabet, from Rossi papers. The ferns are from a paper napkin. The spotted ray is a magazine clipping. The central text is scanned from the definition of life in an 1880s-era encyclopedia titled The Library of Universal Knowledge. I have cherished that little set of maroon volumes with fragile yellowish-brown paper and tiny text (no pictures) since I was a child, and felt honored to inherit it from my father. My family—mostly my dad, his mother, and me—consulted that encyclopedia many, many times while solving the fiendish double-acrostic crosswords puzzles that ran monthly in the back of the Saturday Review of Literature, a much-read magazine in my house growing up. Those puzzles—the solution to which was always a long quotation that could be drawn from any field of knowledge, not just literature—were a competitive sport for the three of us!