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The little-known collage art of Louis Armstrong
06:07 am


Louis Armstrong

I consider myself to be a more-educated-than-average jazz fan, especially in regards to the early New Orleans stuff. (I even did a report on Louis Armstrong in the fourth grade!) So how am I just now learning of Louis Armstrong’s cool collage work? Ken Burns, why hast thou forsaken me with thine sentimental and insufficient documentary series?!?

Louis started working in collage some time in the 1950s. Originally, he created them on paper and hung them in his den, but his wife wasn’t too keen on them, and he had to get creative. A dedicated recorder of his own performances, Armstrong always had a handy supply of reel-to-reel tapes with him everywhere he went, and the tape boxes were a perfect surface medium for his hobby. They weren’t really intended to be shown—they were his personal scrapbook, and the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York has about 1,000 of these collages on about 500 tape boxes.

Each piece pays close attention to balance—it feels cohesive and organic, and the indiscreet use of scotch tape “shows the seams,” so to speak. I like the use of color and combination of source materials—photos, news clippings, correspondence, concert programs, his own handwritten captions, and even bits of his beloved Swiss Kriss Herbal Laxatives packaging. I also like Armstrong’s use of his own image in his work; there’s something intimate about an artist reflecting on their own celebrity.

I’m getting a very Robert Rauschenberg vibe. You?







Via The Paris Review

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The surreal, intricate collage of Lola Dupré
06:44 pm


Lola Dupre

Like many traditional collage artist, the Glasgow-based Lola Dupré makes all her work out of just paper, scissors and glue. But unlike most artists Lola goes further than relying on a simple juxtaposition of imagery to make a point. Instead she uses multiple copies of source material, employing thousands of cuts and manipulating tiny shards of paper to create a strange, amorphous, almost fractal vision. Her work is like looking at a dissolving reality reflected in a spoon.




In a recent interview on the Empty Kingdom blog, Lola says this of her modus operandi:

t came about through experiments with paper as a sculptural medium, through a chance arrangement in 3D forms I began to think about applying it in 2D.  I guess the work could say a few different things about me; I think I am meticulous and multi-dimensional as a person, perhaps that comes across in my work, I’m not sure.  In my opinion, I create, and it is up to the viewer to decipher things and find meaning.

You can read the rest of that interview here, and see all of Lola’s work at her website - in the meantime, click read on (below) to see more of her exceptional work. 


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Music transcends hate: video master Kutiman does it again with ‘Thru Jerusalem’

Israeli musician, composer, producer and videographer Ophir Kutiel does his art as Kutiman. You may recognize his name from Thru-You, the hypnotically rhythmic collage of non-pro musician YouTube videos from across the globe that he made in 2009, and which scored 10 million views, sent him to the Guggenheim, and made it into Time magazine and landed him at the Guggenheim.

Welp, he’s got a new one, and it’s a burner. With sectarian and ethnic tensions in his Jerusalem birthplace at what seems a permanent high, Kutiman has given the city a similar and very necessary visiosonic treatment with the help of 15 of its Arab and Jewish musicians. Check it.

After the jump: Kutiman’s mega-video-mashup from late last year Sue You...

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
The Books’ ‘I Didn’t Know That’: A modern-day hymn of wonder

Since guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong came together to make music in New York City as The Books in 1999, they’ve put together four albums worth of some of the most unique and emotive music you’ll ever hear.

These two work in the poetic collage/sample music realm inhabited by artists like People Like Us and Negativland. But they distinguish themselves via their live instrumentation and Zammuto’s vocals, which often follow and repeat the various voices sampled from advertising, self-help media and other sources, transforming them into modern-day chants.

Zammuto’s also a pro at accompanying The Books’ music with amazing video collage, like this one that he put together for “I Didn’t Know That” from their latest album, The Way Out.

Get: The Books - The Way Out [CD]
Get: The Books - The Way Out [album download]


Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment