The American painter and printmaker Robert Motherwell once called the art of making collages “the twentieth century’s greatest innovation”.
Aimed at reviving the collage art scene in Egypt, the faculty of fine arts in Zamalek launched a project for first-year students of the photography department in which they were tasked to use old newspaper clippings and magazines to create new artistic pieces. Using old materials, students managed to come up with a variety of outstanding collages that captured the faces of celebrities and random people, as well as nature.
“The main advantage about collage art is that it allows artists to recycle and reuse the old materials in their environment to come up with a great piece of art,” said Mohammed Sayed, one of the students.
“There are different kinds of collages such as photo collage, mosaic, dimensional collage, magazine collage, paint collage, decoupage, fabric, and wood collage,” he added.
Although it may sound simple, artists may face many difficulties when they begin working on a new collage.
“Because we mainly depend on clippings from newspapers and magazines as well as coloured papers and old photographs, sometimes it is hard to find enough amounts of materials to match the gradation of the colours we want to create,” Mahmoud Talaat, another student, explained.
In such cases, an artist would use other materials to match their colour gradation; however, the students were challenged to rely solely on paper materials for this project.
“We managed to challenge ourselves and finish our collages in a short period of time, relying on a limited pool of materials and the results were surprising for most of us,” he added.
This project contributed to increasing the students’ interest in collages.
“We hope to continue improving our talents in the art of collage and be able to use mixed methods and materials in a more professional way,” he concluded.