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Collages

The Sandman comic book series introduced me to both Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Gaiman’s writing and McKean’s artwork set a high bar for what can be accomplished in comics. The story was epic. Whenever the narrative journey turned away from its title character, it always added thoughtful complexity and dimension to Morpheus’ world. McKean’s covers always pushed the boundaries, utilizing every digital and traditional tool at his disposal. A number of artists worked on the comic’s interior pages. One of my favorites was Kelley Jones, who had a fantastic way of distorting the human form and drawing incredible, billowing capes.

Morpheus’ helm reminds me of H.R. Giger’s Alien, so when I made this collage of the Sandman in the late ’90s, I wanted to take a stab at redesigning it. I came up with a squid-like tribal mask, that exudes a stringy smoke when worn. Likewise, the cloak, when worn, would engulf and distort the wearer’s body.

The original collage was made as part of my 1999 show Cowimari at DONNA’S in Baltimore that featured 17 drawings, paintings and collages.

After I moved to New York, I cut out a photocopy of that collage and combined it with 2 of my experiments with photography from college to create this image.

While in college, I saw a retrospective show for Sigmar Polke’s photography. The German artist took a very painterly and hands-on approach to how he applied the chemicals while developing his prints, resulting in drips and splatters that would obscure parts of the image. I adopted this grungy aesthetic for much of my photography at the time.

This collage incorporates two such photos of a gas station near my parents’ house with a figure constructed from photocopied photographs.

I made this in the late ‘90s, using a transparency I kept from a high school presentation on echolocation. I’m not sure where I found the photo, but I always loved the image. I used scotch tape to remove the ink from the plastic sheet around the bat, and then applied the tape around the border. I kept an old, damaged and discarded book that I found so that I could use random pages in collages like this one.

This was an evolving collage. It started as self-portrait for a 1996 photo assignment in college. I later digitally superimposed a photo of a statue of Don Quixote over my chest. This version can be found in Bits and Pieces #1. Ultimately, I combined the original collage with a drawing I made of Spiderman in 2012.

As I was designing my Martians for Martian Debut in 2010, I made this particular drawing while I was thinking about how to visualize the Martians nearly instantaneously traveling from one place to another. The pose made me think of Marvel’s Silver Surfer, so that’s what this image became.

I imagined that the metal surf board would, for a moment, become elastic and stretch from where the surfer is in space to wherever it is he means to go, creating a path around any obstacles. Upon his departure, while still anchored to its destination, the board would snap back into its original shape, its form traveling along the established path and pulling the surfer along with it. The surfer’s feet would remain fixed to the board and his reflexes would allow him to balance himself as he is pulled incredibly quickly, in any number of directions, through space as he approaches his destination.

This drawing was collaged with some panel art from Martian Debut in 2012.

I painted this sketch of the X-Man Nightcrawler in the late ‘90s. The jeep grill is panel art from my 2010 comic Martian Debut. The two were collaged together in 2012.

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