Claire Pestaille’s collages have obvious similarities with the work of the great John Stezaker (who I’ve written about previously) . Both deconstruct famous faces from the silver screen, both look to re-appropriate images that have become part of our global culture, both look to find a new way in, another way of looking. A perversion of the banal, the ubiquitous, the everyday.
Unlike many cut and paste photo collage artists Pestaille is not interested in the pop culture aesthetic of the form rather she is concerned with the conceptual nature of the image; our relationship with it, how it becomes part of the cultural iconography of the times. Here’s what she has to say about her work:
Taking ownership of images from the past through the act of collage, my work establishes relationships and connections between the existence of one image and it’s marriage with another. Photographs duplicated, cut up, divided and re-assembled like a jigsaw puzzle allow me to intervene with the authority of the original in order to create fresh readings born from the disruption of existing signs.