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Stella by Starlight Collage

John Melville

United States

Collage, Paper on Paper

Size: 8.3 W x 11 H x 0.1 D in

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About The Artwork

The moment I saw it, I took an immediate liking to the found image of a hand and quill pen on a variety of paper samples from 1950. I came across them in a mid century graphic arts yearbook, what was essentially a trade publication. The samples were each exhibiting a different weight, texture, finish and edge. I imagined that a young illustrator came up with the idea for his or her work to be included on each sample, and in 1950 at the cusp of the modern age, it was a bit progressive to cite the 19th century. 
 I have always been intrigued with the self-referential nature of culture and how old aesthetics are recycled in order to make new and current. With the idea of this cultural salvaging in mind, I decided to create my take of a mid-century modern geometric abstraction on the paper sample, thereby combining contemporary retro with that of sixty years ago. My hope is that fifty years in the future my drawings will evoke a similar reaction in another artist. I presume that it might involve butterflies, chewing gum or scantily clad nurses.

Details & Dimensions

Collage:Paper on Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:8.3 W x 11 H x 0.1 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Having grown up in Detroit, I feel an attachment to the automobile. Even though Detroit steel was in my backyard, I always preferred the cars of Europe because of their other worldliness and design sensibility. Postcards From the Autobahn is a series based on these cars.Its geometric abstraction done with an imperfect precision using ink and gouache on found images. My process is simple, I begin with German postcards that are newer reproductions of vintage advertising but are now in fact vintage themselves. I then draw lines using rapidograph pens, add gouache, diamond dust, colored pencil or shredded currency. I tend to either make the featured image from the original graphic pop or will completely obscure it with ink or paint. I try to get the feel of the movement or lines of the original image and either mimic it or contradict it.

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