URGENT 2ND CLASS: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, and Other Art from Ephemera

Nick Bantock, Author . Chronicle $19.95 (115p) ISBN 978-0-8118-4305-8

Collage of paper ephemera—photographs, postcards, ads, newspapers, stamps, money, packaging materials, invoices, books and sheet music—is an artistic technique at least as old as modernism, with Picasso and Braque incorporating various scraps of Parisian paper into their early cubist works. Bantock, whose six Griffin & Sabine books imagine an epistolary love and include the "actual" letters and cards it is conducted through, offers a plethora of techniques for bringing past and present together by collecting aging paper, and transforming its original communicative use or transactional value through one's own choices in juxtaposition, placement and additive drawing. He offers beautiful, full-color examples of his own work in short chapters devoted to the various pulp forms above, with five or six paragraphs explaining what he likes or how he uses each (on family photos: "I'm not overly interested in battling internally with where sentimentality ends and nostalgia begins—so I steer clear all together"), followed by examples of works he's done with short captions. The printing and layout are as lush as Griffin & Sabine fans would expect, and Bantock offers a judicious mix of his own practice and advice for one's own. Agent, Liz Darhansoff. (Sept. 1)

Reviewed on: 07/05/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
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