American artist Matt Cusick‘s ‘Map Works’ are a wonderful series of collages created entirely out of recycled maps. His subject matter – portraits of people, animals, water and land forms. His process, painstaking. First he has to gather old encyclopedias, textbooks, roadmaps and atlases. Then meticulously slice segments out of them in order to layer small clippings into familiar forms.
Cusick cleverly uses the various contours – lines, shapes and colours that represent sea depth, land height, etc – that are already drawn by previous cartographers to illuminate his own work. This gives his work a rich textural quality which he occasionally enhances by touching up areas with acrylic paint.
Of his work he has this to say:
I discovered that fragments of maps have all the properties of a brushstroke: nuance, density, line, movement, and color. Their palette is deliberate and symbolic, acting as a cognitive mechanism to help us internalize the external. And furthermore, since each map fragment is an index of a specific place and time, I found I could combine fragments from different maps and construct geographical timelines within my paintings. The maps also enabled me to achieve both a cut, hard-edge and a more nuanced, almost impressionistic one. The technique and conceptual applications continue to evolve. It’s a very generous medium.
Via Feel Desain
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