Derek Owens

from “The Essentialists” series
12″x8″; paper ephemera; 2015

Derek Owens
Ronkonkoma, New York, USA


For collage, I prefer working with: vintage maps, scrapbooks, letters, cigarette wrappers, photos, musical scores, pulp magazine covers, crumbling newspapers, children’s primers, anatomy encyclopedias, wallpaper samples, handmade artists’ papers, old stamps, handkerchiefs. For assemblages, I’ve used cicada husks, baby teeth, rattlesnake rattles, milkweed, butterflies, dried fish, antique lenses, herbs, Spanish moss, seahorses, porcelain heads, fluorite crystals, wasps’ nests, geodes, goofer dust. Inspiration: William Blake, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, Paul Metcalf, Jess, Cy Twombly, Plunderphonics, Hannelore Baron, DJ Spooky, Clarence Schmidt, Karen Green, Vanessa German, Donna Sharrett, Robert Ohnigian, Maritta Tapanainen, Aldwyth.


I’m a professor in the English Department at St. John’s University, New York; my academic interests include the privileging of multimedia, multigenre, and multimodal approaches to writing studies. My collages, assemblages, and photography–plus information about my books, articles, fiction, poetry, c.v., and the courses I teach–can be found at my website: HERE. In Spring 2014, I curated an exhibit featuring 50 works by 16 collage artists, texts by writers using collage techniques, and a section on sampling, remixing, and mash-ups in sound collage curated by Ryan Owens, details for which can also be found at my website.


(631) 413-4517
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from “Our Clairvoyant Physician”
12″x18″; paper ephemera; 2015

from “Synaptic Cleft” series
approx. 30″x36″; paper ephemera; 2014

Wunderkammer #2
approx. 18″x27″; seahorse, barbed wire, daguerrotype, shells, keys, etc.; 2012

from “The Doors” series
approx. 12″x16″; paper ephemera; 2013