Despite participating in nearly a dozen local group shows, there's still a strong likelihood that the cover of this week's CityBeat is the first Matt Forderer collage you've seen. The people of England, however, while not exactly on a first-name basis with him, probably remember his work quite well.
“One of my biggest highlights was doing a deck of playing cards of George Bush as a woman called the ‘W deck,'” he says. “I also did a [Tony] Blair deck, which wound up in England's second biggest newspaper, called The Daily Mail. I got a double-page spread making him as a woman, monkey, poodle etc. That paper has a distribution of 6 million. So knowing that I made 6 million people laugh one day is pretty amazing.”
OK, so doing up W and the prime minister as dogs and monkeys probably landed him on some FBI-watch list, but Forderer's decks of cards are about as controversial as he's gotten with his art. That's not to say his work isn't abrasive or striking, but he bypasses the blatant for a collage and painting style that's influenced by Salvador Dali and Max Ernst.
“I bought a Max Ernst book of collages at the MoMA,” he says of a trip to New York. “I was wildly inspired by his work and began doing my first collages the minute I returned. Today, collage informs everything I do in art. I do them fast so the decisions do not have a real purpose or meaning to me. Doing work quickly allows the subconscious to make decisions. So all of your life's experiences are at play.”
Forderer (www.mattforderer.com) used this quick, train-of-thought process for this week's cover, “Rooster Avenue.”
“'Rooster Avenue' was done very quickly,” he explains. “The top was from an artist from the '60s that I cut out. I needed to opaque the back so the print wouldn't show through, so I turned it over and sprayed it black. I noticed that the white paper that I sprayed it on looked kind of cool, so I pasted it back on there so it looked like the street was falling off or like it was a cross section of the street—then added the rooster, who appears to be standing in sand.”
Future plans include an Ireland trek with his art collective, Paint Night Group (www.paintnightgroup.com) to do a show on top of the Guinness brewery, and while collage has always been his real passion, he says that he might dabble in film and painting a bit more.
“If I like a collage, then it may eventually be made into a painting,” he says. “I dream of someday having a show of collages and then paintings created from them side by side.”