THE ALCHEMY OF COLLAGE: ARTISTS IRINA & SILVIU SZEKELY

THE ALCHEMY OF COLLAGE: ARTISTS IRINA & SILVIU SZEKELY

Art is not art if it doesn’t generate misrepresentation, confusion, anger or sarcasm

by Ellie Howard

It’s rare to find two artists that possess a connection as strong as artists Irina and Silviu Szekely, rarer still that those two separate minds can share the same artistic vision. Irina & Silviu Szekely have crafted an entire reality of their own, a world that integrates the whimsicalities of the sublime while paying homage to the grotesque. With sleight of hand, the artists create fantastical collages where magic has slipped through the crack of dawn and bewitched the day, casting a surreal haze of distortions and exaggerations over reality.

Speaking to the Romanian duo you quickly come to understand their disregard for the ‘everyday’. Staying true to the nonsensical nature of the Dadists, they resurrect the principles of surrealism in their neo-dada artwork. Portraits depict inanimate objects lending themselves to their human counterparts, surgically attached in surreal juxtapositions. And gothic manipulations of 19th-century portraits, whereby facial features are grossly distorted, explore the visual representations of magic realism outside of literature.

Intrigued by the enigmatic pair, we caught up with them to discuss the thought process behind their work.

KOD: How would you describe your artistic relationship?

I & S: There is a very strong bond between us, a closeness that could improperly be called friendship... partners, brothers, sisters, lovers, artists: these labels are far from capable to define and contextualise us... we prefer to jump from one identity to the other with a fine disregard for predetermined trajectories of any sort.

KOD: Your work revels in the darker, grotesque side of life. What are your influences?

I & S: We are naive enough to still be fascinated by things not yet known, roaming free on the dark side of the moon. What inspires us is the movement of unknown images, which blur the objects we think we know. Or, as Bataille put it, "It is clear that the world is purely parodic, in other words that each thing seen is the parody of another, or is the same thing in a deceptive form".

KOD: In that case, do you have any beliefs that you live by that filter into your work?

I & S: In accordance with our DADA upbringing, we strongly believe that:

Horses are often intimidated by fire

Spiders are extremely useful in reducing the quantity of flies

Steam is employed to great advantage for culinary purposes

The stings of bees are often more virulent than those of wasps

KOD: In the spirit of Dada – does your work aim to disorient your viewers or just show a new perspective?

I & S: We do not attach any predetermined aims or meanings to our works. The work happens to emerge and develop into its own existence. On the other hand, a new perspective can sometimes be disorienting, it may cause distress, repulsion or attraction, depending on the viewer’s own perspective based on an intimate ontological localisation in a certain point in time and space. We believe that art is not art if it doesn’t generate certain forms of misrepresentation, confusion, anger or sarcasm.

KOD: Some of your recent collages look like they are viewed through warped glass. Do you view the world this way?

I & S: Each individual existence is a distortion in itself, an alteration of the original shape of the building blocks of life. From this point of view, we are fundamentally behaving like a moving image, like an ever-evolving visible spectrum and ultimately we are a mere optical illusion experienced by another moving image. Seen from above and from within, we are the absolute otherness: a prefabricated and disjointed vision, a remotely operated mechanism.

KOD: Do you see a distortion or does the interpretation occur through your work?

I & S: We see distortions everywhere. Seeing the world like this is both funny and challenging. Take, for example, our Manipulation of Pollaiuolo's Portrait of a Young Woman: what can be more aesthetically challenging and intellectually rewarding than to compress a image into a unified and distorted interpretation, creating a whole new tradition of pictorial representations?

KOD: How do you know when a collage is done? 

I & S: We just know when to stop, when to say “enough with this”. A work is never thoroughly finished, at least not by our own hands. What we mean by this is that we always have to face a grey area of incompleteness, a disquieting feeling that something like an empty space is opening in front of us, beyond us, emanating an energy that we cannot actually control and that is making us aware of the fact that a new object has been brought into existence, a new reality is out there in the world.

KOD: Lastly, What is DADA to you?

DA-DA is the volatile simulacrum of NO-NO.

Dada is the eternal double negation of everything there is and ever will be. 

Dada is the ultra-fine detachable membrane incessantly inducing atomic rearrangements and alphabetic anagrams.

Dada has no future. All Dada followers are accidental clones marked with cryptic symbols.  

See more of  Irina & Silvu Szekely's collage here 

Comments


Eddy Obaker on June 02 2015 at 03:26AM

Your article is certainly very well-researched and unique. I believe your content to be valuable and loaded with information. This is well presented. If I were rating your material I’d give you a 9.8.


insurancewhisper on August 10 2015 at 10:21PM

Your information is really great. I like this article. You have given rise to many points that I agree with and have enjoyed reviewing. You have a lot of really good information in this article.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

THE EVOCATIVE IMAGES OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Eminent street photographers find beauty in the ordinary

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

THE ZINE SCENE IS BACK

Self-Publishing is Having a Moment and It’s Redefining Youth and Self Expression

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

PLASTIC PURGERY – BARBIE IN BONDAGE BREAKS THE INTERNET

Photographer Mariel Clayton Reinvents the Stereotype of the Female Form

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

LOUIS VUITTON - SERIES 3 EXHIBITION

Nicolas Ghesquière: less mask, more man

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

REGENERATION OR GENTRIFICATION?

The changing face of London’s artistic communities

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL

The legendary New York hangout of rockstars and Hollywood royalty

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH OLAF BREUNING

The artist talks about the endless interpretations of his work and life

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

REVEALED: KURT COBAIN'S ORIGINAL ARTWORK

A dark look into the mind of Nirvana’s tortured frontman

Daryl Mersom

Read more »
Share »

ABOUT A GIRL: TEENAGERS IN POP CULTURE

Exploring media fantasies from saints to bad-ass sinners of female youth

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

ART GONE VIRAL

Performance art videos are paving the way for activism through social media

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST TOM LEAMON

The ritual experiments of painting and poetry

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

COLLAGE ARTIST HOLLY-ANNE BUCK/COLLAGISM

We talk to the artist about playing with abstraction & reconstructing reality

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

FROM UNISEX TO ANTI-FASHION

Meet Rudi Gernreich, the first gender blender fashion activist

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE REVIVAL OF WARP N’ WEFT

From artisan to art; the lost craft of tapestry is making a comeback

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE ALCHEMY OF COLLAGE: ARTISTS IRINA & SILVIU SZEKELY

Art is not art if it doesn’t generate misrepresentation, confusion, anger or sarcasm

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

THE CREATIVE CLASS: MAKING IT THEIR WAY

Photographer Francesca Allen captures the talented, genuine and real

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

'80S ICON KEITH HARING’S POP SHOP

The Art and Commerce of Giving Back

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE DEATH OF BRONSON

The art and literature of "Charles Bronson"; Britain's most notorious prisoner

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE PSYCHEDELIC LOVE-IN OF THE FABULOUS COCKETTES

San Francisco’s original underground glitter troupe

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE MODERN DAY DANDY CULT

Old fashioned values and classic sartorial style returns to mens fashion

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »
Top