Paper Trumpets #14: Shadow Made of Water


Click image to enlarge:

Shadow Made of Water



Notes on this collage:

  • The base of this collage is a page from an 1895 book by explorer John Wesley Powell. The image is covered by the vintage Hollywood photograph, but you can still read the caption: Grand Canon (sic) of the Colorado, showing amphitheatre and sculptured buttes.
  • The photo on top of the image is a still from a movie starring Thelma Todd and Charley Chase. Todd is the woman peeking out of the shower (She had a very interesting, short life. You should read up on her). I’m not sure who the actress in the bath is, but she has a hold of Charley Chase’s jacket. Mr. Chase’s cut-out image was actually used in my Paper Trumpets column #12. For this collage, in place of his body, I slipped in a photo of splashing water.
  • Sometimes I don’t realize I’m doing something clever until later. For example, just now, I thought to myself: Splashing water in the shape of a person…woman in a bathtub…woman in a shower…hey, that’s pretty cool!
  • Soundtrack while making this collage was Ultra Vivid Scene.
  • A couple of my newer collages have been used by the recently relaunched Housefire website.
  • One of my favorite artists, Michael Tunk, has started up FABA Collage Magazine with Indiana Rogers and Laura Tringali Holmes. I recently got the first issue, which features great work from six collagists, who go into the details of their collages piece by piece. There’s also a cool article on Hannah Hoch (I didn’t know about her Album). You can order FABA here.
  • This week, the Paper Trumpets spotlight shines on the wonderful work of Martin Copertari, a British collagist who lived in Barcelona and died last month at the age of 46. With a background in film and literature (he was Doris Lessing’s assistant for over twelve years), Copertari’s collages are built from Victorian images from the nineteenth century and given a whimsical Max Ernst-type treatment. Copertari often used a gravure printing technique, which he did the old-fashioned way—by hand. In a 2012 interview with Cory Peeke in Kolaj Magazine #2, Copertari said, “I love literature and I seek to create images that can also be read like literature. I noticed during my past exhibitions that people like the old look in my work but also find the images romantic, sometimes a bit acid or disturbing but above all very often they find them funny.”
  • I found this great quote by one of my favorite writers, Donald Barthelme: “The principle of collage is the central principle of all art in the twentieth century.” More from Jonathan Lethem and others in this Austin Kleon post.


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 →