Hugo Werner

Hugo's work is stunningly sophisticated. I love the strong use of type in his collages, they really show his knowledge of this area. It has a vintage as well as new quality, the way he uses black, bright whites, and creamy beige. The theme of his collages makes sense, as he also teaches typography.

Hugo Werner,

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: You can call it a complete fabrication of memories.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I usually work from cutouts of old magazines, from the 60s-70s, or from ink-jet printed photos (analogue and digital) I take. I also work with laser prints and copies from catalogues, paper ephemera and printed matter I may find at random.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I begin doing collages back in 1999... I'm not sure about what made me start using it. I was looking for different techniques to apply to some personal projects. It wasn't a path that I was consciously aware of or looking for. I just progressively started to use it more and more, but there is definitely the influence of starting to work with sketchbooks and ideation books.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'm a graphic designer by training, working with typography and motion design. But I also teach part-time, the same disciplines, at a local university.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I'm an Art Center College of Design grad (Pasadena, CA).

Q: Explain your favorite techniques.
A: I start from random cutouts, based on different themes or just by form association. These initial connections can turn into a background or foreground that I like to develop later. I usually don't try to "solve" a collage at once. Some work can spend several days or even weeks, in a very slow and incremental way... Other images are finished in a matter of a few hours. I use typography, solvent transfers, stencils, lettering, tapes here and there, but it's mainly just paper and glue.

Q: Describe your favorite piece ever created.
A: I honestly don't have a 'favorite ever'... But to some works I could use: "Nothing sorts out memories from ordinary moments. Only later they do claim remembrance when they show their scars", from Chris Marker's - La Jetteé.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: It's hard to name just a few... But I have to mention the work of designers and artists like Ed Fella, Martin Venezky, Charles Wilkin, Wolfgang Weingart, Tschihold, Max Ernst, Raul Hausmann, Kurt Schwitters, Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Höch, Heartfield, Peter Beard, Romare Bearden and Basquiat.

Thanks Hugo!

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Notpaper is a blog dedicated to showcasing the work of international collage artists. We strive to meet the artists and understand the thoughts behind the process, so interviews with artists are a big part of what we do. If you are new to the site, please enjoy our archives featuring hundreds of collagists!   more 


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