What is Collage Art?

I’ve always had an affinity for collage. In my high school art classes, I would sit for hours poring over old editions of National Geographic (saved from the garbage outside of my local library), picking out and cutting up images until I had stacks as thick as novels. Nowadays, I love to host collage nights with friends and make quick compositions in between errands.

There was something special about the medium to me. There was a lower barrier of entry - The skill of collage was in honing my eye for composition and juxtaposition, rather than mastering the technical elements of a medium like painting. Each piece is like an exercise in curation - the artist finds a thread of connection that turns the piece from a collection of elements into a cohesive whole. Collage gives the artist space to become a scavenger, trusting their gut to draw them to the right images and their eye as they play with composition.

Collage also encourages a unique form of meaning-making. Each image is chosen intentionally, holding sentimentality, social commentary, or even just fascination. By bringing each image into dialogue with one another, new layers of meaning can unfold. 

Lydia Cecilia, a collage artist working with TAS, uses these moments of overlap and juxtaposition to explore gender. Collage allows her to combine and contrast elements of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny to create new understandings of embodiment. 

As Lydia writes in her bio, “her attraction to collage comes from its infinite possibilities; the freedom that comes from deconstructing and recreating images in her own way”.