Jess Collins + Your Paste-ups
AT HOME ART DATE | visit watch collect + create
“I don’t see that much difference between the spiritual and the material. All matter is energy, and all matter and energy are infused with spirit.”
-- Jess Collins
“Few artists have proved as agile in mining American visual culture as Jess. Born Burgess Franklin Collins in Long Beach, California, in 1923, the former chemist reconfigured media clippings, mail-order catalogues, and comic strips into complex, beguiling little universes, omnivorous and imaginative, displaying a formidable literacy of both written word and image. His paste-ups (as he preferred to term them) suggested amalgams of almanacs, the backs of cereal boxes, and pages from Life magazine, by way of Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, James Joyce, the chronicles of Oz, and the stoop-front scrapbooks of the artist’s great-aunt Ivy.”
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This AT HOME ART DATE is a chance for you to make collage a secret story within a story depending on how close you are willing to look.
(element one) VISIT the Jess Collins website here. Spend as much time there as you would in a museum.
(element two) WATCH this video description of one of Jess Collins collage here.
(element three) COLLECT + CREATE over the next week. For seven days collect bits and bobs that you notice out in the world. Be compulsive about this. This will require you to pay attention as you move through your day. Start to plan patterns. Cut up old books and maps. At the end of the week on any surface you like -- a cardboard box, a blank wall, a piece of typing paper -- make a three dimensional collage and try to replicate the vibe of Jess Collins telling a visual story within a visual story.
How does it feel to give yourself permission to create visual tales both large and tiny?
If you resist doing this at home art date, do it anyway.
If you seek perfection, you will never reach completion.
Finished? Congratulations. Well done, artist!
Please share your new collage with a friend. Even share it on social media! Try to always share your art.
I hope you find Jess Collins + Your Paste-ups to be a compelling AT HOME ART DATE.
I curate provocative AT HOME ART DATES for you to enjoy solo or with others in your own home. Many of these art dates have online elements combined with supplemental reading, listening, and a variety of activities you can do at home to enhance how you express and experience art. Feel free to forward these art dates to others. Remember to check out the bonus material below.
These AT HOME ART DATES are free of charge. However, they do take time, energy, and a lifetime of artistic experience to put together. If you’d like to buy me a cup of tea as a bit of thanks, I’d appreciate your generosity. Buy Pattie a Cup of Tea.
Read about Jess Collins' murals being discovered in film critic Pauline Kael's home.