Cut-Ups

This series explores an image that I have worked with for several years -- a photograph of my Vacation Bible School class, taken by my mother when I was about 5. When I first started exploring this image through paintings and drawings, I was most interested in the emotional impact of the image; the children here were my friends, and I see their adult characters already manifest in their young faces. I know the sad fate that met some of these friends, and that informs my emotional response to the photograph. Although these associations with this photo remain, I became more and more interested in the visual interest of the photograph -- the great variety of shapes, the gestures of the figures, and so on. I began to focus on the photo as a purely visual object. In this series , my aim was to play with the structural composition of the photograph -- to impose wholly new compositional frameworks and see what happened. Starting with collage, I let my process take over and made each collage with no plan for an outcome, other than the initial, carefully planned compositional alteration. What happened was a wonderful surprise. The children began to walk around, fly kites, fade away, dance, and otherwise to cut up as they chose. After making seven of these collages, I began a series of paintings inspired by the collage and I continue to work on these.

Cutting Loose (collage)
Fly a Kite
Listen Up
Shoot the Moon (collage)
Little Angels
Smile!
Shoot the Moon (painting)
Cutting Loose (painting)
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Cutting Loose (collage)

Cutting Loose (collage)

collage with hand-painted papers

7"H x 9"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Fly a Kite

Fly a Kite

collage with hand-painted papers

7"H x 9"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Listen Up

Listen Up

collage with hand-painted paper

7"H x 9"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Shoot the Moon (collage)

Shoot the Moon (collage)

collage with hand-painted paper

7"H x 10"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Little Angels

Little Angels

collage with hand-painted papers

7"H x 10"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Smile!

Smile!

collage with hand-painted papers

7"H x 10"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Shoot the Moon (painting)

Shoot the Moon (painting)

oil on canvas

48"H x 60"W

Photo by Greg Staley

Cutting Loose (painting)

Cutting Loose (painting)

18"H x 24"W

Photo by Greg Staley