For whatever reason, it seems like collage artists are having a bit of a renaissance. Maybe we’ve not been paying attention to the technique, maybe it’s a result of being able to cut and paste on computers: no idea. Artists are making some really exciting pieces now and it has been seen everywhere from Made In L.A. to Carl E. Smith to UC Riverside to the work of our own cover boy of the week, Kevin Appel. It’s an exciting moment for the technique, especially in relationship to Los Angeles. Another voice in this conversation? Gordon Magnin, a contemporary collage artist whose work is very stylish and very witty.
Magnin’s work plays in several different areas. First, there is the reference to casual collagers and the source for many working in this area: magazines. He often alters fashion spreads and celebrity imagery to mangle and poke fun at the culture being portrayed in the photos. He turns mega-stars like Angelina Jolie and supermodels into sliced up, pockmarked aliens. The second area he works in is a self-reflexive comment on art. From an Ellsworth Kelly obscured by an Ellsworth Kelly to MOCA’s being the point of departure for his Museum Of Contemporary Alchemy, he uses collage to take jabs and reference contemporary art as a system. The finally area of subjects are in the classical world, where he turns images of Greek statues into visual mush, decaying them by way of technology.
Gordon Magnin’s collages are very specific in their execution and share visual similarities from piece to piece. Something that also needs to be noted is how fucking rad his website is as all of his works are brought to life by .gifs, alluding to how they were created and nodding to what he can do beyond just works on paper. How very contemporary! Poke around his website for lots more work and keep an eye out for pieces of his around town. He’s definitely one of our new favorites.