Breathing new life into photographs salvaged from forgotten film archives and obsolete magazines, John Stezaker intuitively transforms these found portraits into otherworldly, uncanny beings. Playing with our fascination with the face, Stezaker’s subtle yet unsettling interventions toy with the subconscious and the surreal.
Using a manual cut-and paste technique he continues the rich history of collage by dissolving the naturalistic picture plane and constructing a fragmented and dislocated view of contemporary reality. The individual images fuse and separate before our eyes, opening up new characters, relationships and meanings.
John Stezaker was born in 1949 and studied at the Slade School of Art, London and is now an artist and Senior Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art. He was one of the first generation of British Conceptual artists exhibiting in the late 60s’ and early 70s’, including in the New Art show of 1972 at the Hayward Gallery, London.
During the 70s’, he was one of the pioneers of British photo-art, exhibiting widely in Britain and Europe in group and solo shows, as well as both the Venice and Paris Biennials. His involvement with found images and collage was a seminal influence in the late 70s’ and early 80s’ on American ‘Now Image’ art. By the 1990s, this involvement with the vernacular of images and engagement with the found image found a further resonance with a newer generation of British artists, the YBA’s.’ Since the mid-‘90s, he has exhibited widely (Australia, America, Europe) in association with young British artists.
Stezaker’s recent key theoretical research interests are in the found image, collage, and collecting. Additionally, he has recently been exploring more particular issues relating to the aesthetics of symmetry and the history of aerial imagery.
Presented in partnership with The Approach, London
|THURSDAY 26 July 7-9PM||Cockburn Street Party|
|FRIDAY 27 JULY - SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2007||Focus Space: Unknown Purposes and Characteristics Work in progress by Catherine Street|
|26 JULY - 2 SEPTEMBER 2007||Edinburgh Art Festival / Information Station|
|WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 6.30PM||The Magic Lantern at Stills £3/£1.50|
|WEDNESDAY 31st OCTOBER 7PM||Tracer Trails at Stills £3|
|SATURDAY 13 & SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 2007 10AM-5PM||Workshop: Get into Print £60/£40|
|SUNDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2007 10AM-5PM||Discussion : Addressing the Issues of Picture Making £25|
Image Credit: Mask (2007)