Sculptor and new media artist Ray Beldner juxtaposes different forms and ideas to create sculptural collage. Learn more about this artist by visiting his website.
Pulling images from art history books, art magazines, posters and auction catalogs, I make my work by cutting, arranging, analyzing, changing, gluing, mounting and varnishing the pieces into textural, 2D collage sculptures.
I am drawn to the shapes, colors and textures in other artist’s work. I then deconstruct them to create wholly new forms and narratives.
Through this process, I play with the tension between figuration and abstraction. I’m interested in how 2D forms can occupy, define and create space.
I find the medium of collage unendingly fascinating. Utilizing its fluid, improvisational capabilities, I’ve made works ranging from small collages on paper to large-scale collage assemblages and free-standing collage sculptures.
If collage is a juxtaposition of different forms and ideas, recontextualized to create a new whole, then I would assert that all art is collage.
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Whether artists are aware of it or not, they are always building upon the work of others who came before. Personally, I find it extremely satisfying to know that I’m standing on the backs of canonical artists within a long art historical tradition.
The conceptual artist Sherry Levine has said, “The world is filled to suffocating. Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged.” It begs the question of originality—why bother making new images when there’s so much existing material ripe for the picking?
Unlike Levine, I don’t consider what I do “appropriation.” Rather than reworking an entire artwork, I take small, seemingly insignificant sections that draw me to their shapes, colors and textures.
Gathering them into compositions, I play with their complimentary and contrasting attributes. I make them into works that are bright, lyrical and visually confounding. The larger scale pieces are glued to laser-cut 3/4” maple plywood and hang far off the wall, physically confronting the viewer to provoke a somatic response.
My work can be found in many private collections. It has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in a number of public collections. These include the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Oakland Museum of California and the San Jose Museum of Art, among others.
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