Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Favorite Fan Artist: Collages by Melissa Moffat

This morning I was writing about photo manipulation--Photoshop, these days, but people have been altering photos since photography came into existence of course, and I wanted to point to that history. 

I thought Romare Bearden's "collage paintings" would be a good example because while he's not a fan, he is not a "pure" artist either, governed only by aesthetic considerations.
His art tells stories about his times and African American culture, and collage worked well to reflect an experience of fragmentation and reunification (like quilting too). And he tore up magazine photos for material, so he was appropriating mass media.

Hm. Actually, he was a fan---of jazz, which plays a large role in his art. But I am concentrating on media fandom, not direct experience like making music. (Partly because I just don't have room to cover all the things I'd like to. Ditto sports fandoms. Though actually, I don't even want to cover that because I don't have enough love for or interest in it.) 

Bearden was interested in continuity. Here's his collage, 
"Prevalence of Ritual: Baptism" (1964)

So, I thought I might be going too far afield (I'll probably have to cut the art historical references--no room), but I went looking for more "artistic" photocollages in fandom.

(I guess by "artistic" I mean art work where the aesthetic considerations (form, color, etc.) are just as or even more important than the fan narrative. Not that fan art where "fan" comes first is not art, but "art by fans" has a slightly different sense.)

Anyway, you can find most anything online in 5 minutes, and there it was,  aesthetics + fandom in the fantastic and gorgeous comic-book collages of Melissa Moffat < (more at her site).

Here, from her Star Wars (Force Awakens) series, 2016, made from cut-up comic books (paper, not digital):

I found this first on Geek x Girls. with this quote from Moffat:
"I was excited for The Force Awakens so I went to work creating a new collage series using Star Wars comic books … and a stack of tribute magazines I took after watching the movie.  I like to deconstruct the images of the characters and break them down into parts and create a new abstract image."
Moffat started out a making collages out of magazines as a hobby, while she was working in photography, and ended up a fine artist who still cuts up by hand and reassembles comic books and high-fashion magazines (< links to examples of those abstracts from fashion photos and an interview with the artist in LandEscape article).

And here, because I love BB-8:


bink said...

Knowing you will probably cut the art history, so this is completely irrelevant ...wonder if you would find any fan art among collages of the weimar period? Hannah Hoch, Erwin Blumenfeld, Oskar Schelemmer, etc., mostly make social commentary collages--but still...I wonder. Not trying to send you down a rabbit hole. Just curious. I'll send you an email with a Blumenfeld piece I found...not exactly fan art (in content) but it uses Charlie Chaplin's image.

ArtSparker said...

I love Romaire Bearden's work. Immediately recognizable.

Fresca said...

BINK: Thanks for emailing me the Chaplin art! GREAT stuff.
I wish I had room to get into Dada collage, etc... I hadn't realized Blumenfeld did both the skull + Hitler montage (the US airforce dropped it over Germany in 1942, on a propagand leaflets!) and some famous fashion photos (like that female nude under a wet veil that's in my sister's bathroom!).

SPARKER: He's a favorite artist of mine too!

ArtSparker said...

Huh, I have to say that at this point I have begun to see some art, or at least creative efforts, around resistance and it's inclining me to do something boring like volunteering for the ACLU (and to do more tutoring to catch kids up in reading). The reason being that I see a lot of creative types going to town with self-righteous bad art and it's just making me feel uncomfortable.

I am a big fan of less is more and provoking thought rather than trying to be louder than the other guy.

Frex said...

"ACLU Announces Legal Action On Trump Conflicts Of Interest

The American Civil Liberties Union has announced a plan to fight the Trump administration, starting with litigation on Thursday designed to get government offices to hand over materials regarding possible conflicts of interest. From the organization’s press release:

“The first legal action, filed yesterday, is a Freedom of Information Act request asking several government agencies to turn over all documents relating to President Trump’s actual or potential conflicts of interest to his business and family connections. The request seeks legal opinions, memoranda, advisories, and communications from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the Office of Government Ethics, the General Services Administration, and the office of Personnel Management from November 9, 2016, to January 20, 2017. The request includes email and all other communication to and from the presidential transition team.”"