Paper Trumpets #11: Let’s Bounce

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Let's Bounce

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Notes on this collage:

  • It’s basketball season! My favorite team is the Philadelphia 76ers, so I’m not overly excited. They’re what you call “in a rebuilding phase” and will probably have another terrible year. For the thrill of victory, I can always turn to my 2nd favorite team, the hometown Trailblazers, who are pretty great.
  • These basketball dudes come from a high school yearbook I found at a cool store in Portland called Rerun. It’s from Grant High School and the title of the yearbook is Memoirs 1946. It’s full of fantastic collage-worthy photos. The yearbook staff page says the “Staff Photographer” is George Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin, if he is still alive, is now 86 years old.
  • Look at those short shorts! Those are not good for winter, guys!
  • I love it when there are sports images in collages, especially older photos. There’s a reason why throwback uniforms are so popular. Plus, I feel like the power of nostalgia is stronger in sports than many other cultural landmarks. Someone send me your 1970s Sports Illustrateds!
  • If you like this column, you’d probably like the new book, Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform, published by Chronicle Books. It’s compiled by Danielle Krysa (of The Jealous Curator) and features work by thirty artists including stellar pieces by Larissa Haily Aguado, Peter Madden, Beth Hoeckel, and Kathryn MacNaughton. In the inspiring foreword by Anthony Zinonos, he writes, “Over the last few years it seems that a “collage boom” has been taking place, a rise in popularity that has led not just to an increase in people making collage, but to an influx of exhibitions, books, and blogs showcasing the diversity of the medium.”
  • In this episode of Paper Trumpets, I’d like to shine a much-needed spotlight on Rachel Eaton. The 29-year-old Seattle artist has designed club posters and has had a few art shows on the West Coast, but isn’t well-known in the collage scene yet. I only discovered her work through a mutual friend, and was blown away by what I saw. I always admire collagists who can take more modern imagery and transform it into something fresh and surprising. Eaton takes things like high fashion, gold teeth grills, Polaroid snapshots, and torn-up scraps of colored paper and transforms them into skewed Frankenstein-esque pieces that fluctuate between beauty and the unsettling. “I was drawn to collage at the age of thirteen,” Eaton tells me. “My older sister would collage and I was really fascinated by it. She’d create these really poetic pieces that were less about composition and space and more about words vs. imagery. Another influence was the book, Living the Magical Life by Suzi Gablik. Her idea of collage not only being art that one can create but a more generalized idea for looking at life, and the strange coincidences that take place over its course, really resonates with me. Other contemporary collage artists are also influential to my work, such as JP King and Richard Vergez.”

 


Kevin Sampsell is the publisher of the micropress Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. His books include the story collection, Creamy Bullets, the memoir, A Common Pornography, and the novel, This Is Between Us. His work has appeared in publications such as Pank, Sixth Finch, Poets & Writers Magzine, Yeti, Fairy Tale Review, Tin House, Best Sex Writing 2010, and Best American Essays 2013. More from this author →