I have an interest in all of the visual arts; painting, photography, film, and um, duh: fashion. This online quiz thing once told me I was a “Visual Thinker”... #OMG #SoTrue. So, I recently ended up in a Google black-hole exploring the work of Martha Rosler, an artist who primarily uses collage as her medium of choice. I was particularly interested in her most recent body of work, which incorporates images from modern fashion magazines within each piece. When someone decides to mix fashion within another medium, I totally geek out.
Ok so at this point you’re probably like, “Fashion collages? Really? Giiiiirl, I decorated all my High School binders with cool fashion collages and you don’t see my shit hanging in no museum. Who cares?” So, okay, collage may not be the most difficult of mediums to master, but it gives Rosler’s work an emotional value that no other medium could not have achieved. An important aspect of her work is the fact that she uses only pre-made images, imagery that already exists in the world, independent of Rosler putting them together. The tension that this juxtaposition creates hits the viewer like a ton of bricks. See:
We are a generation that has been inundated with war imagery. We are also a generation that has been equally as inundated with glossy fashion advertising. Separately, neither of these images get a rise out of us. We are desensitized to the violence of war just as we are desensitized to the facade of advertising. We have an equal familiarity with both. Rosler’s work forces us to confront this, and makes us think about the way the we process media today. Thoughts my fellow fashion lovers? PS- Sorry if this work has offended you but...well the best art does that, doesn't it?
Until Next Time,