A collage is an image composed by cutting, assembling, and glueing images, photos, or other materials onto a surface. It is an artistic method that uses composition and overlapping of items to create new meanings based on the relationships between the pieces. A collaged image can be made from many types of materials. It can use hand drawings and sketches, cut outs from photographs and magazines, or even splashes of paint. The sizes of the images can distort reality or play with perspective. For example, Superstudio created an image (Superstudio, 1971) with a dramatic pathway into the landscape.
A collage can also convey an argument, idea, or story. The artist Martin Venezky’s collages (Martin Venezky, 1993) capture the myths and symbols of the cowboy to tell a story through that perspective. Sometimes a collage is more abstract. Artist Herbert Bayer’s collage (Herbert Bayer, 1932) is a mix of many things that seem unrelated. The juxtaposition of images in the collage makes a dreamlike scene that allows him to share feelings in an unexpected way.
At Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO, we use collages to create ideas for architectural projects. Collages allow us to create images where the unexpected can be discovered. For example, when we have an idea for a new house, we use a collage to imagine the types of activities in the house and the way the house includes nature and plants. The possibilities are limitless!
Similarly, when we have a building designed, we invite people to use collage to transform the space and show us how they might use it. We could propose a room as a dining area, but the reality is you might want to use it as a space to play ping pong with your friends.
We invite you to make a collage with us to imagine and design a space just for you.
In this activity we will use the tools of collage to imagine where and how you would like to live.
Suggestions for additional materials:
Designed by practicing artists, the Open Studio classroom activities aim to connect high school teachers and students with key ideas and issues in contemporary art. See all of the Open Studio activities.
Create room backgrounds by cutting out images that feature a texture — a background can be long, tall, whatever you wish. Cut out images of things you like. There is a packet that accompanies this assignment to help get you started. Pick from the packet or find your own.
Draw, sketch, or paint some images — they can be images of people you know or things you like