“Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Like P Diddy”

Moon Birds 909 © Catherine RutgersI love “Tik Tok” and I loved reading that Ke$ha based her style on Keith Richards. Long live rock. Long live pop (pulp) culture.

Nearly everything in music is based on something else, isn’t it? Jazz, show tunes, cantatas: they all appropriated something from somewhere. And the genius part is when nobody gets uptight about this because we’re all enjoying ourselves too much.

Same is true for collage, which is (usually) appropriation and was my first medium for art. Beginning in the year I turned thirteen and discovered Tiger Beat and the New York Times fashion supplement, I spent hours perusing pages in a magazine, tearing them out, taping them up on walls, and carefully gluing them to paper and canvas.

The thing about collage is that it’s so much fun. You take things and you make new things. This was a seminal technique for the Dadaists, the Surrealists, and so many artists, including, of course, Robert Rauschenberg. But in my own work, I was haunted by giving credit where credit is due.

With rare exceptions, everything since the ’80s is made from my own sources – photographs, drawing, scans, and paintings – with scattered found objects and an occasional tidbit of wrapping paper. My new work is often digital collage, playing in the wide-open field where collected treasures can be altered in a million different ways. For the Unbearables Assembling Magazine, 1998, reversion to the mélange was irresistible.

Materials Mix © Catherine RutgersFullmoon Spring © Catherine RutgersIcon 0724 © Catherine RutgersCarnaval All the Time © Catherine RutgersAilanthus Merge © Catherine RutgersRedwall Concept © Catherine RutgersNew Leaf © Catherine RutgersText and images by Catherine Rutgers © 2011

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One Response to “Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Like P Diddy”

  1. The beat goes on. “Tiger Beat is an American fan magazine marketed primarily to adolescent girls … Founded in September 1965 by Charles ‘Chuck’ Laufer and his brother, Ira, Tiger Beat has as its forte teen idol [idle?] gossip, movies, music and fashion. It is known for its covers with ‘cut and paste’ collaged photos of teen idols.” (Wikipedia) And it’s still available in print!

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