Meaning of collage
Collage, from the French word coller, which means “to paste”, is a visual art that is achieved by gluing objects to a central support. Two-dimensional collages made from photographs, tape, and bits of magazines and newspapers is a common embodiment of the form.
However, structural collages made with found objects such as wood and figures are not uncommon. The material used in this art form can be both original and borrowed, and the medium is limited only by the artist’s imagination.
Mosaic is a form of collage.
The roots of collage can be traced back to the 10th century, when calligraphers in Japan began to glue pieces of paper to their works. In 13th-century Europe, the idea of applying gold leaf and gems to religious art arose, and the broader idea began to spread among artists.
Mosaic, a practice of fitting together many small pieces of tiles to form a pattern, is also a form of collage, and has been widely practiced in the Middle East and Mediterranean for centuries.
Newspaper article clippings are commonly used in collages.
Typically, a collage incorporates mixed media. The artist may, for example, use magazine clippings to create a base image, but then write or paint over parts of the finished work.
The artist can also choose to make it more dynamic by adding tactile elements such as fabric, ribbon, textured papers, or other objects designed to make the piece more visually interesting.
The finished collage is often sealed with a glue treatment so that the elements do not come unstuck.
Collage can be incorporated into a painting.
When working with more three-dimensional found objects, a collage can retain the traditional form of an art piece mounted on a solid support, or it can become a diorama or sculpture.
Common elements in this type, apart from wood, are pieces of glass, ceramics, metal, figurines, dried flowers, and anything else the artist can imagine.
These art forms can be more brittle, due to protruding elements, and are often heavily secured with strong adhesive products.
Many people make photo collages.
Collage is also used in more fluid ways. Artists like Picasso, for example, incorporated the idea into their paintings. Picasso’s paintings lack the textural divisions created by pasting elements together sequentially, but retain the uniquely disjointed look of the art form.
Some artists also create photomontage, a form of collage, using a series of small photos to create a larger image.
Pieces from magazines can be added to a collage.
Many children experiment with collage in art class, and some later pursue the medium as a career. Some museums have particularly fine examples on display, as do major galleries.
Along with a wide variety of other visual media, collage can be used to convey the vast variety of human experience, or simply to create a handmade greeting card, depending on the artist’s intent.
Some museums have particularly fine examples of collage on display, as do major galleries.