Sunday, September 01, 2019

September 2019 Unicorn Of The Month: K Young

While I do enjoy collage, painting is my thing, so I would not necessarily call myself a "collagist" or a " collage artist." I learned about this artist well over a year ago via their Instagram account. This artist is "collagist" with a Capital C. I knew immediately that I wanted to feature them here, but it has taken some time to get here, we artists are busy people. The work featured here is outstanding, but I highly encourage you check out their IG Page to view more of their gorgeous collages.

I make my collages using found pictures from magazines and books. I hunt for these in second-hand shops and book sales - solid, physical objects with weight and texture - even a smell. Although I embrace technology, I find this whole experience refreshing in the digital age. I flick through the pages until something visual catches my eye. It might be a pattern, colour or shape. I then cut into it with a long-handled scalpel, without having any preconceived ideas at that time of how I will use it later.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the limitations of scale, as well as the restrictions of the paper itself, brings about a unique creative reward. There is no undo button either, so every cut counts. But it feels liberating too; drawing with a blade, with no real objective in mind, until the original image is edited or abstracted into something new. These cut-outs are then kept, sometimes for months, until I find a use for them; when they can be partnered with other unrelated selections to make a new story.

I often use collage to explore ideas around gender roles, identity and social constructs. The concept that everything exists within a finite time-frame; that nothing holds a permanent stake in this world has always fascinated me and is another a recurrent theme in my work.

Faceless figures are juxtaposed with their surroundings; anchored to domestic or workplace scenes, sometimes literally becoming part of the furniture. Ghost-like outlines leave behind a vague trail. Information is kept minimal; it's the essence of the subject within the space itself, which is key.

These fragmented glimpses, moments and suggestions tell incomplete stories, and yet this editing also expands the narrative at the same time. The viewer has to make sense of what is happening; they have to create meaning. I see it like recalling a memory or working out the meaning of a dream, and collage by its very nature is the perfect medium for achieving this end.