Title: Snake Charmer
Size:11’ x 7’
Collage with book cuttings
Exquisite corpse constructions allow hybrid, unbelievable creatures a chance to come to life. Parts can be harvested from used books and magazines and the hunt for these is almost as enjoyable as making the work. Almost any title can yield useable images and some save you the agonizing decision of what to cut out when images are on the front as well as the back of the page, by printing the image on one side. Of course you can photocopy images so you don’t lose them, but the colors are usually slightly off. Scanning will give truer colors.
Favorite books to use are nature books of all kinds, anatomy, costume, machinery, tools, architecture and prehistoric writing and art form. I used a yellowed paperback of mazes very effectively in many works. If is is cheap enough buy anything that catches your eye the might haves potential .
I tend to have cutting marathons scissoring up an entire book so when I want to work the images are ready to be assembled. Other collagists will page through a book or magazine and cut out images that strike them or will have a predetermined idea of what they are looking for;perhaps a set of crossed legs or an odd object to use as a hat. They will compose as they flip through magazines or books with maybe little idea of the finished product. In this way you can surprise yourself as well as the viewer.
Try both systems and see how you like to work and how you are the most productive.