white string collage series
This series was inspired by a chance encounter with an Ellsworth Kelly piece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during a short weekend in Philly this spring. I went to the museum to take a quick pass through the Cy Twombly exhibit, which was wonderful and perspective-changing, but in an adjacent room was a small Ellsworth Kelly collection. A single framed canvas with a symmetrical geometric shape formed from string caught my attention. it was white on white, so the entire effect was created by texture and shadow, and i thought, “I want to try that.”
STILL collage project 2017 | (mary jo hoffman)
mediterranean bottles collage series
This series was more of a by product, than an intentional creation. I had been sketching bottles of all shapes and sizes on scratch paper, making templates for the series of collages I posted a while back—the one with painted fabric bowls and bottles. Afterwards, I had tossed my many sketches into the scrap bin. Only to pull them out weeks later and exclaim, “hey, I really like these!”. I added swipes of color to a few, et violà, a new series was born.
STILL collage project 2017 | (mary jo hoffman)
classical composer collage series
This series was inspired by the iconic concert posters produced in the 1940s by Swiss graphic designer Josef Müller-Brockmann.
I picked the most memorable few measures (usually near the beginning) of six familiar pieces of classical music and made them visual using simple shapes and color. Each bar represents a single note. The color of each collage is meant to reflect the overall mood or emotion or energy of the musical composition it imitates. The width of each bar is correlated with the note’s value, or duration, and the bar’s height corresponds to its relative pitch. A taller bar would represent a higher note, and a shorter bar a lower note. A wider bar would last longer, and a narrower bar would be held for a shorter time. I did not try to create an exact 1:1 correlation of music on the staff to visual representation on the page. In some cases it was more effective to give a note greater visual impact than its actual musical duration, as a way of conveying the note’s weight or emotion, but in general, the results are not particularly obscure or difficult to decipher. Anyone who knows these pieces, should be able to piece together the melody. Take a look, and see if you can hear the pieces in your head. If you can, than I have succeeded.
The key code is provided below. But see if you can’t guess which work is represented first.
STILL collage project 2017 | Week 22 (mary jo hoffman)
Red: Symphony #5, by Beethoven
Green: The Four Seasons: Spring, by Vivaldi
Beige: William Tell Overture, by Rossini
Blue: Rhapsody in Blue, by Gershwin
Yellow: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, by Mozart
Purple: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, by Bach
photomontage series, collages 1-6
This series was inspired by David Hockney’s photomontages. As we were leaving our rented home in southern France in early 2017, I went into the first floor wine-makers garage where my husbands’ Renault-4L was stowed away awaiting our next visit. I quickly snapped about 100 images of the parked vehicle from different angles, knowing I would want to try photomontage as one of my collage series. Here are six takes, all using the same pile of 100 photos.
Photomontage dates back to the mid-Victorian era. So although he didn’t invent the idea, he definitely popularized it. I think every modern day photographer (myself included) goes through a Hockney photomontage phase. I, myself, have gone in and out of the phase at least three times. It seems, every ten years I feel the need to try it again. After this most recent effort with this form of collage, I feel it is a bit like cooking—where early results are often good, or certainly good enough, but that repeatedly exceptional results takes years of practice.
Here is what wiki says about David Hockney’s photomontages: In the early 1980s, Hockney began to produce photo collages, which he called “joiners”. Creation of the “joiners” occurred accidentally. He noticed in the late sixties that photographers were using cameras with wide-angle lenses. He did not like these photographs because they looked somewhat distorted. While working on a painting of a living room and terrace in Los Angeles, he took Polaroid shots of the living room and glued them together, not intending for them to be a composition on their own. On looking at the final composition, he realised it created a narrative, as if the viewer moved through the room. He began to work more with photography after this discovery and stopped painting for a while to exclusively pursue this new technique.
STILL collage project 2017 | Week 21 (mary jo hoffman)
the making of this series was much more light hearted than it looks. here’s how i did it: i glued together one piece of black to one piece of white paper to make six 11×14 backgrounds. then i taped my two-toned backgrounds to my work table. i put out a big gob of white paint and big gob of black paint. then i rolled a pizza cutting wheel through the paint and then onto my backgrounds over and over. the black and white may give the images a hint of solemnity. but i was there while they were created, and i’m telling you it was pure joy.
STILL collage project 2017 | Week 20 (mary jo hoffman)