I love featuring students, even now that I am no longer one myself! Anthony's work is fantastic, and you can tell he has the ambition to work in his spare time creating a great body of work. Every collage he makes is so consistent, and I think it's due to the fact that he is so specific about his materials (read on for the elaborate details)! I am excited to see more from Anthony in the future.
Name (Real or Screename): Anthony Gerace
URL (Blog, Website): flickr.com/friendshipexplosion
Location (Where are you from?): Toronto, Ontario
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: The concept of nostalgia considered as a controlled architectural implosion.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Life Magazine, from 1945-72, generally (before 1945 the paper is too delicate and the tones too flat, after 1972 the paper is too glossy and the tones too vivid). Playboy from 1966-72 (same reasons, and also because Playboy magazine from the mid-70s onward is pretty digusting). Time magazine, from the same period, for the same reasons. Comic books from the early 80s because of the huge swaths of solid colour on the covers. Furniture catalogues. Old stamps. Found ephemera. Construction paper. Newsprint...
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I began making collages when I was in high school, but stopped for several years. I thought they were solely the territory of zines, something I became really tired of. I started again when I started booking bands, because I needed posters for the events and wanted to see if I still had it in me to make things. This led to getting back into zine-making and trying to make collages solely for themselves rather than as an element in design. I got a lot more serious about it when I got fired from a horrible retail job in 2008, and thanks to the time that gave me, I think I got a bit better at it, too.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'd consider myself a graphic designer before an artist, especially with the collages I've been working on for the past year or so. I think they're a lot more about formalism and technicality than about any objective imagery (though there's still a lot of that). The best collages I've done, more or less, have been done for poster work.
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I'm about to enter third year graphic design at OCAD.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Getting a piece of paper, preferably a magazine cover or spread, and using it to create a single image that reconfigures the original but still conveys it's essence. I really like working with flat colour, and I like the subtle variations that come from worn out paper. Magazines from the 60s are especially great for that: the covers are printed on matte stock, so every fold, crease, scratch or ding becomes visible. I like that you can see that they've been handled, that they're fifty years old and showing it; that someone held onto these things for years before finally giving it away, and most often they gave it away in some kind of a state of disrepair. I guess my favourite technique is making those flaws become more important than whatever the image was before I cut it up.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: My series "Fig. 1-99", a collection of colour studies, because they consistently challenge how I think about the medium, and subsequently help my design process. My favourite of those is called "Fig. 8: Study in Blue #3 subtitled "Ever Since I Was Very Young". I like working on large scale, and this series, which will eventually consist of 100 pieces, is the largest thing I've done.
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Dada artists like Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters. But more than those, my favourite artists are people like Jacob Whibley and Matthew Partridge, who are constantly providing inspiration and ideas (and I'll admit that I've cribbed off of both of them a little bit), and Andrew Wilson, whose microscopically detailed ink drawings are beautiful and inspiring. Designers like David Pearson, Stefan Sagmeister and Peter Saville, who synthesize the things around them to create incredible work that can be tied in to some sort of visible history. More than anything, my friends, who constantly inspire me with their work and their work ethic.