Friday, March 15, 2013

Under the Influence--An Homage to Katrien De Blauwer

The collage work of Katrien De Blauwer is deceptively simple. Sometimes it consists of nothing more than two images arranged on a piece or two of old paper. But the dynamism of De Blauwer's work is anything but simple because, somehow, she gets her images to talk to each other, right there on the paper, in a language that is universal. There's hope and despair, joy and fear. Innocence retained. Innocence lost. The conversations are sometimes brutally honest, and I find myself endlessly drawn into the relationships she portrays, feeling familiar things, but often new things, too. I'm not an art reviewer, nor am I a psychiatrist, but I've often thought that Katrien De Blauwer's special talent is her ability to speak to and for the collective unconscious of human emotions. What's more, the subjects in her collages almost always have an equal voice. This equality among players moves me beyond description.

It is also, at least for me, when I tried to work in her style, impossible to duplicate. Here is what I came up with when attempting to capture the spirit of her work.

Icarus, collage on playing card, Laura Tringali Holmes 2013

Although I like my collage well enough, in the end what I wound up building was a collision, not a conversation. I was simply not able to achieve what I set out to do, which was to create a dialog of equal voices such as so artfully constructed by Katrien De Blauwer. In my homage, my Icarus, very much alive, leaps to the sun from the bird's nest of straw that is the lady's hat. The lady might be dead or dying for all I know. That my Icarus will have his solar meltdown soon enough and plummet down to earth to join the lady on the ground is, in this case, immaterial. I was looking to construct a relationship where the participants were equally engaged, and this I could not do. I had to settle for a pun on Icarus' flight...of all the playing cards I could have chosen from my deck of Birds of America, note that I chose the one featuring the Bohemian Waxwing.

My hat is off to you, Katrien De Blauwer! I am moved and inspired by your work.

Please enjoy Katrien De Blauwer's work here:

Here are a few pieces from her gallery to whet your appetite.
From the Dress series, Katrien De Blauwer

From the Rendez-vouz series, Katrien De Blauwer
From the Feminin series, Katrien De Blauwer
From the Without series, Katrien De Blauwer
From the Inappropriate series, Katrien De Blauwer


Raylee said...

thanks for this link.
also want to thank you for the previous tutorials you posted...very helpful. i am trying to learn about collage & will try your ideas.....soon.

Laura Tringali Holmes said...

Good luck in your collage work, Raylee, and thanks for commenting here. Glad you liked the link to KDB's work.

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