COLLAGE ARTIST HOLLY-ANNE BUCK/COLLAGISM
We talk to the artist about playing with abstraction & reconstructing reality
by Ellie Howard
London-based artist Holly-Anne Buck AKA Collagism, is on a quest to collage the universe. Since relocating to the UK in 2011, Collagism has amassed a devoted following, exhibiting at the Vestibule Gallery and Tate Britain, thanks to Buck's off-kilter aesthetic that both satirizes and subverts populist culture. In her imagery, humorous depictions of a sautéed Karl Lagerfeld and other icons float accompanied by fried eggs and krafty kittens, existing within a hyper-surreal techno universe. Packing a pop-punch, Collagism talks to us about creating her eyegasmic collage.
KOD: Firstly, tell me about your artist moniker ‘Collagism’?
I adopted Collagism because I was doing a street art campaign for the freedom of Pussy Riot. At the time I was working from a basement in East London. It was a surreal environment; that day I had seen a man dressed as a giant egg running down the street being chased by another guy with a giant net. Later I opened my door to a crowd of 20 people on a Street Art Tour. “Collagism” described the multilayered mash-up of pop culture I was living in, plus could be mistaken for an art movement!
KOD: I came across a previous interview you did, it said that you work in 2D, 3D and even 4D mediums?
I make collage in every form, and if I haven’t; I’d like to try it. Analogue 2D, digital collage, installation, sculptural collage, and audiovisual collage… my life is one big collage.
KOD: What do you love/hate about popular culture?
It’s like getting a song stuck in your head; it becomes an imprint in your psyche that you did not invite in. ALIENESE 24 HOUR is a mash-up of celebrity heads collaged with music and sound bytes, it’s definitely a case of Pop Art eating itself. I painted Peter Andre orange and put an onion bhaji on his head, crying tears of a collaged Katie Price - someone saw it and asked, “did you get Peter Andres permission to do that?”. My response “did he ask my permission? Why do I even know what he looks like standing on a beach with his top off?”
KOD: Food is an on-going theme within your collage, if we invited ourselves for supper, what would you cook us?
We could create some collage, play a game of ‘cards against humanity’, or have a great debate – I could shuck you an oyster or offer you a selection of cheese? But let’s go out for a meal. I can cook well, but we’re in London and the food is great.
KOD: Your work features a lot of contrasting imagery from multiple cultures globally. Have you travelled much?
I am definitely a ‘wanderess’. I’ve always travelled. I believe in experiencing life and the art of living. Whatever new things I can wrap my eyes around, makes me happy. It’s not always a new destination, but a new way of seeing things. All the stored images in my mind filter into my artwork. I’ve been living in London for the past few years, and have had the opportunity to travel a lot throughout Europe. I spent a few years living in Tokyo and have travelled extensively in Asia, which I miss. Of course Australia is a huge part of me that has manifested through my work in the use of vibrant colour, and the dynamics of space.
KOD: Tell me about your band – ‘Mink Engine’. How do you think music and art relate?
As a teen I was inspired by the Velvet Underground - their gigs at the ‘Exploding Plastic Inevitable’ incorporated lights, installation and performance all orchestrated by Warhol - that was the late 60’s in NYC. I always wanted to create my own version of that. I started raving as a kid and it was all about lasers and happy hardcore. From there things developed into video projection and I started VJing. Rave culture seemed to have a set aesthetic but I saw it differently and started animating my collages. Living in Tokyo I began collaborating with my partner and formed an audio-visual band. Mink Engine became the vehicle for all my artistic output. I was a singing, dancing VJ, making art, running a record label and putting on the occasional night. It was great fun.
KOD: What are your future plans/projects? Anything exciting we should know about?
I have a residency coming up in New York at Gallery Sensei in Lower East Side in Manhattan. An amazing photographer Ventiko runs the residency, it should be a wild experiment since I’ll be also living with Ventiko and her peacock Dexter!
Discover Holly-Anne Buck entire collection here >>