Famous Collage Pieces
by: Jessica De Hoyos

Due to its history dating back hundreds of years, their have been many artists who have used this art form as a means expression over the years. Some of the more famous artists who have emerged in recognition of their collage pieces include Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden and Shepard Fairey
Each of the artists used different materials and methods in order to create their collage art pieces. The beauty of collage, as an art form, is that it allows one to work with whatever materials he/she chooses (2).

Collage in the modernist sense began with Cubist painters Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. . Braque took up the concept of collage itself before Picasso, applying it to charcoal drawings. One of Braque's more famous pieces is Violin and Candlestick, 1910.
Braque: Violin and Candlestick, 1910

Picasso adopted collage immediately after, and was perhaps the first to use collage in paintings, as opposed to drawings (1). One of Picasso's more famous works includes, Friendship, 1908. Another famous piece of Picasso's was created during a time when he was depressed over a friend’s tragic death, which he entitled Blue Nude, 1902. This piece was one of many which came from his “Blue Period” artworks. These pieces displayed early evidence of his talent; and later led him to create approximately 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures during his lifetime (4).
Picasso: Blue Nude, 1902

Decoupage is a type of collage usually defined as a craft. It is the process of placing a picture onto an object for decoration. Decoupage can involve adding multiple copies of the same image, cut and layered to add apparent depth. The picture is often coated with varnish or some other sealant for protection (1). One of the more famous artists known for his work with decoupage is Henri Matisse's, who is very well know for his piece which is entitled Blue Nude II, 1952.
Henri Matisse: Blue Nude II, 1952

Collage made from photographs, or parts of photographs, is called photomontage. Photomontage is the process (and result) of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs (1). Romare Bearden is famous for using this method of collage in his artpieces. His method began with compositions of paper, paint, and photographs put on boards 8 1/2x11 inches. Bearden fixed the imagery with an emulsion that he then applied with a handroller. Subsequently, he enlarged the collages photographically (1). One of his more famous works includes The Calabash, 1970.
Bearden: The Calabash, 1970

One recent piece of collage artwork which gained major popularity during Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign was created by Shepard Fairey. This is the iconic “Hope” portrait which came from a series of posters supporting Obama's 2008 candidacy for President of the United States. The famous collage of Obama looking pensively over the word “hope” is on the auction block today with a bids reaching over $80,000 (4).
Fairey: Hope, Feb. 4, 2009

Fairey was also the man behind the
“André the Giant Has a Posse” stickers that later evolved into the "Obey"street art (4).

Collage is different from other art forms because it does not dictate a particular style(2).

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage

2. http://www.sunnyday.org/art_lesson_plans/collage_history.htm