Upcycling Aesthetic // Dadaist Collage Featuring National Geographic

After researching Dadaism for the Aesthetic Exploration post, I became inspired by one of the artists I found; Dash Snow. I really liked the way he arranged his collages and how some of the themes he created were easily identifiable. I wanted to create a set of collages similar in style to Dash Snow. I thought making multiple collages with different themes would really emphasize the style consistent throughout them all while also lessening the impact and significance I would need to impose on one single collage.

DASH SNOW "The End of Living The Beginning of Survival", 2007 by Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery - Issuu

(1) The End of Living and the Beginning of Survival, Dash Snow, 2008.

Estate of Dash Snow - Morán Morán

(2) Moran Moran, Dash Snow, 2006.

I will be using a sizeable collection of old National Geographic Magazines as the content for my collages. Having read several of the magazines, I have a general idea of the content present in each. With this knowledge, I’m hoping that I can create 3 separate themes: war, climate change, and most likely, the impact of the Coronavirus. The last one; I’m not certain about yet. Rather than posting my images on blank paper like Dash Snow, I plan to use a backdrop to overlay the images on. I hope to use some medium-sized photo prints or paintings as the backdrop for my collage. I will likely visit a thrift store and browse until something jumps out at me that might complement the themes I’ve chosen.

Depending on how long it takes to create the collages, I am also considering building frames for each of them as well. To pair with the Dadaist aesthetic, I would use different pieces of scrap wood. I imagine the frame to be similar to the one below but ideally with more distinctions between each edge of the frame. I would like the quality and appearance of the material used in the frame to be as diverse as the content present in the collage.

Reclaimed Wood Frame - Etsy

(3) Barnwood Picture Frame, ABW Frames.


(1) https://www.amazon.com/Dash-Snow-Living-Beginning-Survival/dp/393135542X

(2) https://www.phillips.com/detail/dash-snow/NY010618/166

(3) https://www.etsy.com/market/reclaimed_wood_frame

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Aryan Gandhi
    March 3, 2023 10:18 pm

    It’s really interesting to read about your inspiration from Dash Snow’s collages and your plan to create your own set of collages using old National Geographic magazines. I can already imagine how the different themes of war, climate change, and possibly the impact of the Coronavirus will come to life through your collages. The idea of using a backdrop to overlay the images on is also great, and I’m sure the medium-sized photo prints or paintings that you’ll find at the thrift store will complement the themes perfectly.

    The thought of building frames for each collage also adds another layer of depth to your project. I appreciate how you plan to use different pieces of scrap wood to create diverse appearances for each frame, much like the diversity present in the content of your collages.

  • Hey Lucas,

    Collages are an awesome medium to choose. You said you were going to choose different themes for each piece, do you think there will be a consistent through-line regarding the message of this series you are creating? or will it all be up to what catches your eye flipping through Nat Geo? I’m not sure if this artist is considered a Dadaist or not, but the collages of Romare Bearden are great inspiration. He has some amazing works regarding African American history, and was a large part of the Harlem renaissance.


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