Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Creative Destruction

I've been thinking a lot about my creative destruction posting. Now that the theme is in my head, I see the idea everywhere. There are obvious parallels like Gordon Matta-Clark and Rauschenberg photo-based combines. But how large is the field? Is there a large corner of the photo world in which artists deal with destruction of the photo as part of their practice? I thought that I would start to make a list that I would add to as I encounter new work. I would value suggestions of artists I have overlooked or of whom I'm unaware. It could be an engaging vista once we have a few dozen names.

Just to be clear, let's limit this list to artists who use photography or photographic materials in a way that tears, rips, punctures, slashes, or otherwise mars the paper. Simple collage is not enough. I would say that Hockney is a no while Samarras is a yes. Richard Prince is a no while Rauschenberg is a yes. It is not enough that the work is about destruction, there needs to be some work on the print as well. Matta-Clark is on the fence in this regard. I suspect further clarification will be necessary (and welcome as part of an ongoing dialog) as we continue, but that will suffice as a start.

My list part 1:

Robert Rauschenberg
Lucas Samarras
Gordon Matta-Clark
Marco Breuer
Douglas Gordon (the celebrity 8x10s with the eyes and mouths burned out and mounted on mirrors)
Chris McCaw
Felix Schramm
John Stezaker
Stephen Gill (Buried)
Helen Almeida (sewn photos)
Peter Beard
Ray K. Metzker (recent photo collages)

Your turn........


  1. Maybe Kenneth Jacobsen's collages can be added to this list. The meticulous postcard constructions are are hard to look at as "destruction" but they are cut up and used to cover the surface of the photo. In other work, however, he does use torn elements, or the appearance of torn elementsto make a 3 dimensional work. Thoughts?

  2. Hey Evan, on your theme of creative distruction another artist with torn images is Jon Kessler within the format of his installations, maybe that is too much like collage to fit the bill, but then it is not collage as the images, (I am thinking of the faces) are mostly complete with gashes and cut out sections missing. I am thinking of his installation for the New York show at the Haus der Kulture der Welt last year in Berlin. Ron Rocco

  3. Dear Evan Mirapaul,
    My name is Rhodri Jones and I am an independent Welsh documentary photographer based in Italy.
    A few days ago, by chance, I came across your blog space and was pleasantly surprised to see that you had seen some of my work on China “Internal Migration” at the “Side Gallery” in Newcastle (Day 1 Wednesday March 5th). In the piece you write that I am probably not known in the US, this is true, indeed I have never been to the US and have no contacts there.
    As you seem to spend much of your time visiting different galleries and photographic events perhaps you would be kind enough to send me some contact details of venues/outlets in the US that might be interested in my work as I would like to have an opportunity to show there. I’m happy that you seemed to enjoy the exhibition should you be interested in seeing some more, my website (and contact details) are below. Thanks!
    Kind Regards,
    Rhodri Jones
    Email:info@rhodrijones .com