Surreal Collages from Books, Magazines by John Stezaker.
The question that inevitably returns with John Stezaker’s collages is: how does he manage to gain so much traction and resonance from such limited means? Usually one of his pieces will consist of just two found photographs, or a film still and a postcard, and put like that it may not sound like anything at all. Everything then rests on the delicacy, precision of purpose and — crucial point, this — the sensibility with which the British artist extracts these components from the infinite warehouse of dormant images and eases them into position. When the fit is right, and after 35 years of dedicated craft the fit is reliably certain, the fusion of elements has a feeling of inevitability, as though this fortuitous marriage of visual entities from a lost world has been preordained.
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This is the surreal work of the winner who has claimed the prestigious Deutsche Borse Photography Prize – and all of his images are made from others work.
Winner John Stezaker, who splices and merges photographs from other artists, scooped the £30,000 title after a panel of international judges deemed his unconventional take on photography to be the best entry of this year’s competition.
While some may question how the artist could have won a photography prize without taking a picture, judges decided his work was the best of the four finalists.
John Stezaker’s work re-examines the various relationships to the photographic image: as documentation of truth, purveyor of memory, and symbol of modern culture. In his collages, Stezaker appropriates images found in books, magazines, and postcards and uses them as ‘readymades’. Through his elegant juxtapositions, Stezaker adopts the content and contexts of the original images to convey his own witty and poignant meanings.
Surreal Collages from Books, Magazines by John Stezaker: