For a class I am taking called My Story on the Web, I have been tasked with making a graphic collage in Photoshop that is as creative as it is relevant to the topic of this blog. When I first started thinking about this, I found myself a little lost. I wanted to accurately portray my ideas of what this blog should be about without accidentally excluding anyone that may feel they also fit the ideal. I also didn’t want to make the mistake of too narrowly defining such a broad topic. To get some inspiration I did a quick “graphic collage” Google search, and was very attracted to examples like this website’s content, that incorporated pictures of multiple people important or relevant to the topic of the collage. I wanted to somehow incorporate that same weaving of human form that most of the artists in Jenny Carless’ library of graphic collages seemed to capture. I also decided to go with something more simple, like this Alfred Hitchcock collage from giftsource.info. The collage is bold, and easily read; I also enjoy it for its use of angles and a certain linear quality that makes it even more digestible.
With a vague idea in mind, moved on to finding photos of my own that could properly convey the message of this blog, that being: “Any and all things extraordinary, unconventional, or just plain weird.”— a topic even more vague than my idea of the blogs composition. Starting on Creative Commons I found a few photos that I loved, and eventually decided to remix for my project. The first I decided to use was the photo in the top left corner of the collage, which I found on Creative Commons, sourced from behance.net. The photo is of a heavily tattooed man, flexing his back to the camera and effectively showing the way his body and the artwork compliment each other. I chose this photo because for me, turning your body into a canvas has always been both an incredible means of expression for people, as well as a taboo desecration of the “temple” I was taught to perceive my body as. Body modification like this was one of the earliest things I can remember registering as an unconventional way of living life. Not everyone was doing it, but I always took note of the happiness it seemed to bring those that partook. The next few photos I chose were of the sword swallower, found on C.C. and sourced from flickr.com, as well as the aerial acrobat and her silks, also taken from flickr.com, and the contortionist balancing himself. I chose these as I recalled going to a circus as a child. The occasion has always stuck with me as one of the first times I truly realized the depth of what humankind could accomplish. To this day I look to acrobats and contortionists, etc. with utmost respect. There are almost no greater representations of the extremes human beings can take themselves to, both physically and mentally. Finally, I chose the two statues I took photos of while in New York, one being “Looking Toward the Avenue” by Jim Dine, and the other being “Retrospective Bust of a Woman”, by Salvador Dali. I chose these, because it is my belief that artists are some of the earliest examples of those that went against the grain, or “out of step”. For nearly our entire existence, humans have expressed themselves through sculpture and painting, and I think that both mediums are still crucial to any discussion of human expression or counter-culture; as well as perfect representations of how humans set themselves apart as individuals. The effect of the clouds, although cliché, are there to represent the mentality of “sky is the limit” that I’ve always romanticized in my head.
Slight revisions lead to me lightening and cropping a bit of the clouds that overlap the entirety of the image, because I wanted the individual smaller images to pop a little bit more. I thought that maybe I got a little over-zealous and didn’t want to actually delete any images from the collage, therefore leading to the small, but noticeable changes I did make. I also tried to saturate the acrobat in the middle a little more to have her stand out as the focal point. I believe every photo I chose is a great representation of what it means to be “out of step”, and there are still many more things I hope to include and represent over the life of this blog!
Citation of images used, from top left going clockwise:
Second Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/69553598@N00/249603169
Fourth Image(s): The combined photos I took of Salvador Dali’s “Retrospective Bust of a Woman”, and Jim Dine’s “Looking Toward the Avenue”.