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Biographical Cut Outs

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Erin Case – Clueing, sticking, composing, editing!

Erin Case has style! She might not be the typical photographer we would normally put in this category, but her works fascinated and inspired us so much…and she is using photos in her very own way! Erin is creating most of her collages from news paper cut outs, old magazine images, more or less anything she finds in old and new print media. Images found on the Internet and photographs serve as her material for her digital works.

Erin’s collages take you to far, far away places, take you into space or trap you in an old fashioned TV… Clueing, sticking, composing, editing… there don’t seem to be any boundaries for Erin’ s creativity. And the same counts for your own. Erin’s works do not only express her own creativity but also make us think! What do you think when you see a gigantic woman leaning against a mountain range? Or a girl from a long past era sipping on her coke and gazing up into a man’s face…which is actually a steaming volcano?

You can buy Erin's Fine Art Prints at society6 

For her newest collages the artist worked together with the photographer Andrew Tamlyn. The results are awesome collages combing fashion or rather hair couture photography with landscapes…creating absolutely surreal but beautiful images. Erin manages to create not only one image or two – no her way to arrange the models, or rather their hair, create various images in one picture. Every cut out reveals a new view and a new perspective.


What material do you use for your collages?

My hand-cut collages are made from vintage materials. Most of the images I use come from old National Geographic Magazines, Time, fashion magazines, vintage books, encyclopedias, and other source materials of that nature. When I make digital collages, I use found images from Internet searches, or photographs taken by people I know.

Is there any difference for you between working with cut outs from old magazine or found photographs?

There’s an obvious difference in technique, and I feel there is a difference in how much of myself goes into a work depending on which technique I use. Not that I don’t enjoy the instant gratification of a digital collage, but working the old fashioned way is always more satisfying for me.


Describe your work process. Is it first the idea? Or is a distinct image your starting point?

The idea is first. It then becomes a very distinct image in my head. It’s pretty rare that I find the exact pieces that make this completed image in my head, but I think that’s one of the great things about the medium. Collage forces me to hold on to the feeling that I’m trying to communicate while I reshape this image in my head. Often I search for a long time, for example, for a frail woman, facing left and squatting, or perhaps for a blue volcano, or for a puff of pink smoke, etc. In the end, let’s say, I could only find a yellow volcano, brown smoke, and a woman facing left and squatting, but plump. So, the finished image turns out a little differently than the composition in my head but still communicates the same message in a close visual manner.

How long does it take you to make one of your works?

It varies a lot. From time to time I am able to find the pieces I need and glue them together in one sitting. Most often, though, I give myself a few months to forage and collect the pieces, which is the most time consuming aspect of the process. I’ve got some pieces in progress that I’ve been putting together for over a year.

Do you prefer to work digital or analogue? And why?

I prefer analogue, hands down. As I said, I put more of myself into hand-cut pieces. I think as a result of the process and I enjoy the challenge of the hunt. I also like being able to have a tangible original artwork.

Interested in Erin's work? Prints are available at society6 

How would you describe your look / your style in five words?

That’s kind of a tough one! I’ll try though: Cut and paste biographical surrealism.

What are your next/current projects? Where will your next project take you to?

Currently, I am taking part in Saatchi Online’s 12XTwelve Collection. Rebecca Wilson, director of Saatchi Gallery London, commissioned an exclusive work for the holidays. There is a limited edition of only 12 prints and the original, which are available on their website. I’m also currently working on the record sleeve for Love Symbol Press’ upcoming first 7” release. As far as future projects go, I’m open to ideas.

What message(s) do you want to communicate through your works?

Each work has it’s own meaning, but generally I would say they communicate my experiences with and perspective on the human condition. I don’t think I’m as much trying to send a message, it’s more that I am trying to make people recognize a feeling (or feelings) and examine their own experiences with them.

All images © Erin Case


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