Blog 2: History of Collage & Photomontage – Shawn Stephens

Mathieu Borel takes vintage photos and fractures them, then arranges them in multiple ways to create a single cohesive image. It’s really interesting to me that he is able to take just a single photograph and make it into a piece of art with new meaning that’s totally removed from the original photo. Mathieu is a modern-day artist, but he was born in 1974. The interesting thing is that he

doesn’t actually use photo manipulating technology to achieve his final result, he sticks with a traditional cut-and-paste method.

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The omission of technology in favor of his traditional method goes really well with the vintage subject matter. I love the way he mixes the image to intertwine harmony and contrast; in some parts the face slices contrast each other sharply, while in others they mix into each other smoothly like a fine gradient. The way he skirts the line between repetitive and dynamic to make it repetitive but interesting is what stands out to me most about his art, and what makes him stand out as an artist in my mind.

The subject matter also raises a lot of questions — why 80’s actors and actresses? Why actors and actresses at all? There’s definitely a specific look that the vintage photo and actress gives. It looks classy, maybe elegant. Maybe the idea of taking a vintage photo of a prominent actress raises questions about the actress herself and her identity — how did people perceive her back then? How might people perceive her now?

Mathieu’s art is really thought provoking and tackles a lot of different concepts at once.

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