The Green Album

And last but not least, green.

Certainly not the best of the series, this doesn’t feel as inspired as the other two. There are some bits I really love though: the kitschy spaceman standing in front of the corn emerging from a lady’s head, the woman on the label holding a fish at arm’s length.

The main thing I remember about this piece is how difficult it was to stick pieces onto the left side of the background – it’s decorative foil rather than flat paper and needed lots and lots of glue.

The Blue Album

The easiest way to get your hands on a gold record is to make your own!

A number of years ago I made a series of collages as album covers for gold albums. I’ve done a few illustrations for CD covers over my career but never an LP cover. That’s a shame because there’s so much more space on a 30cm LP cover compared to a little 12cm CD cover.

If you’re reading this and looking for artwork for your album on vinyl, please get in touch. I’ll give you a very good price for helping me cross this off my bucket list!

Blue Butterfly Boy

One of the first, maybe the very first, “drippy paint” canvas.

Despite containing relatively few elements – something you know I don’t do often – it works really well.

I’m really proud of the main character, I think he looks great with his freakish tentacled head. I’m less pleased with the cityscape at the bottom as I didn’t make it go all the way to the edges, an aesthetic mistake I haven’t made again.

I have to say I hated cutting and gluing the flowers. Making the same small cut dozens of times to cut out 14 near-identical flowers is pure labour, not art. And they were really thin paper too, it wasn’t really possible to re-position them once they were stuck down, even lightly stuck down. I found that out the hard way!

I was lucky enough to exhibit this – and sell it – in a gallery in one of NZ’s most-photographed buildings, the lovely Dunedin Railway Station.

Best Of Both Worlds

“Both worlds” involves a bit of artistic license since they are actually four worlds in this piece, but hey who’s counting?

This is definitely one of my best paper pieces, from the mid 1990s I think. I’ve tidied it up quite a bit with Photoshop, the original is bit rougher – particularly the orange slave girl. She comes from the cover of a horror comic that was 30 years old when I made this collages and comics are typically made of crappy newsprint.

The few times I’ve made collages entirely out of newsprint comics I’ve started with a brand-new scalpel blade, and even then a few tears are inevitable. I sorta enjoy the challenge though, it encourages me to choose pieces carefully and sparingly.

Battle Kittens

War is rarely cute, so when it is it’s always something worth celebrating.

This piece is much more orange than most – if not all – of my other work. It’s not usually a colour I enjoy, but I challenged myself with an orange canvas and I’m actually really pleased with the result.

 

Babylon Don

A quivering tower of something-or-other.

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with such a long canvas when I first got it. I’ve had poor results with this shape before, it’s hard to connect all the elements together and you just end up with random bits floating around independently in the air.

The tower comes from a 1950s religious book for kids, I liked it’s slightly fleshy -look! I emphasized that with a creepy head and eight grabby little arms. There’s something slightly unsavoury about his red-nosed enthusiasm, but he’s one of my favourite characters nevertheless.

Despite having a fair number of floating items, I think this holds together really well and the three sections of the composition are joined nicely.

SOLD

Camera Eye

Something a little different.

As with most of my collages, the primary concern is creating a pleasant visual spectacle and meaning comes second.

So this is a study in color vs black-and-white, but also a meditation on surveillance and being surveilled. The models – whose job is to be observed – are also keen observers themselves; the Watched become the Watcher.

The Origin Of Earth

As far as Life, the Universe, and Everything goes, I feel that this is as good an explanation as any.

According to some Hindu texts the world is held up by elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle. I like the imagery of that and decided to create a collage around it.

While I’ve added plenty of my trademark cuteness, I’ve also tried to include a little darkness, with the disturbing heart- and moon-faced children taking centre stage.

This piece is available for purchase, contact me if you are interested.

Fish For Fantasy

Title stolen from an old (is there any other kind?) Billy Idol song.

This is one of my favourite works on paper. It’s very busy but all the images blend very well together. Some are photos and some are illustrations.

I’m going to say this dates from about 1999 – I recognise some of the images as being from a sheet of Mexican schoolbook illustrations I bought in the US in 1998.

It’s possibly one of the last pieces to include a ‘Warp’ logo, a nom de plume I used for a while. This website is the last vestige of that actually, and next year I’ll begin using peterlewiscollage.com instead.

I think this is a really great piece so I’m willing to sell it at a discount – yours for a mere NZ$100 plus postage. Unframed collage on paper, 290x207mm.