Collage, the arranging and pasting of materials or found objects not usually associated with one another onto a flat surface, is the work of the collage illustrator. Subtle relationships of color, shape or function can sometimes be found but random placements are often characteristic of collage art.
Collage comes from la colle, French for glue. Invented by George Braque, a colleague and contemporary of Pablo Picasso, in 1912, this genre includes assemblage, a three-dimensional form of collage art practiced by greats like Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg.
Collage encompasses a broad range of art-making techniques that rely upon re-appropriating previously-made images and found materials into new compositions.
Also known as papier collé, gluing and assembling flat materials on a surface to create abstract design, the collage illustrator uses newsprint, postage stamps, painted or dyed papers to emphasize the flatness of a painted surface while exploring the three-dimensional quality of materials pasted to a surface. Examples of collage as art include the works of Anne Ryan and Hanna Hoch.
Photos can also be “collaged together” by juxtaposing unrelated images next to one another outside of their normal context. Photographer, Man Ray, was best known for this technique.
Combining materials and content artfully that are both serious and tongue-in-cheek is the approach of the skilled collage illustrator.