I made a book out of scraps. Starting with a notebook from fourth grade, I filled the pages with fragments of homework assignments, doodles, portraits of heroes, and bits of colored paper.
Some pages start with a drawings, others with text or Color-aid paper. It’s all intuitive, following an internal logic I couldn’t and wouldn’t put in words. Though the medium is different it’s pretty much the way I’ve always worked. No ideas or plans. Just the materials at hand.
The difference is that the source or starting point of each picture is not the room I’m in or the bookshelf or the view out the window but rather a fragment from the past. I’m still working from life though. Taking an old drawing and gluing it into the notebook, then making it talk to a scrap of text or pure color feels a lot like trying to make marks in reaction to what I see with my eyes. The tension between what’s out there and what I’m composing on the paper is the same.
Each bit is meaningful in some way. It isn’t random. Even if I couldn’t tell you what it means, there’s a kind of story that unfolds from page to page. The form dictates the content. Because these collages are in a book they have to talk to each other in ways that stand-alone collages or paintings don’t. Perhaps after I’ve made a few more of these I’ll be able to say what it all adds up to. But maybe I’m not supposed to know.
I worked on the book all week. When it was finished I put it under the eye of the scanner and recorded a rambling commentary while flipping pages. I thought when I started talking that it would last five minutes or less but when I closed the back page the counter read over twenty-five minutes. If you have the time to spare have a look.
If not, here is every page without a peep from me.