An Exhibition of International Street Poster Collage
Mar 25 - May 1, 2004
Paul Rodgers/9W is pleased to announce Michael Anderson's second one-person exhibition at the gallery. Anderson will present further examples of his collage made from street posters, together with art works using diverse materials collected from the street such as scratch-off lotto cards, graffiti stickers and hand-made xerox street flyers of wanted, lost and found and sale advertisements. The artist will also show selections from his vast private collection of graffiti stickers and flyers which inspire his work.
If Michael Anderson is calling this exhibition 'Mad Collectors', it is because he is surely the maddest collector of them all. Everyday for the last twelve years or so, the artist has set out across the city, most often his home-base of New York, but also Mexico City, Berlin and elsewhere, and mostly on his way to or from the studio, with an eye for the significant detritus of the contemporary urban landscape. Anderson has accepted Robert Rauschenberg's challenge to make art out of the material of real life. He has also grown up with and absorbed the aesthetics of graffiti from the urban art movement of the New York streets.
To view Michael Anderson's collage is to be drawn into a dynamically unfolding story. His work develops a non-linear narrative structure that captures the experience of contemporary urban life with dark humor. Anderson understands that visual art today is in competition with film and television. His work uses the static aesthetic of print advertising and captures the non-static dynamic of film and TV to achieve a complex synthesis of the two. The explicit content of Hollywood and the subliminal suggestiveness of Madison Avenue, both of which lull the viewer into an anaesthetic state of acquiescence, are here treated to an aesthetic awakening by the use of abstract and representational oppositions, surprising dislocations and juxtapositions of imagery, and rapid shifts of scale, tempos and surface/depth relations.
Advertising provides the material, appropriation is the mode of operation, collage is the medium for this art of recycling. Already in 'Post No Bills', his first show at the gallery, Anderson demonstrated his grand-mastery of the collage medium. Anderson's collage, laying paper fragments, saturated in a glue solution, onto a flat mosaic-like all-over field, reshapes the imagery of popular culture. This imagery, seen unintentionally in the street and quickly forgotten by people going about their daily life, resurges in the viewer's mind. Through art, the familiar is made unfamiliar and then becomes familiar again. Of this wild mix, Anderson remarks: "I just want to make art that reflects the time I'm living in, so that in the future people can look back and see how it felt to be alive now."