In my early work; sculptural, installation or site-specific, I was drawn to used materials, re-purposed to create new pieces that combined my intent with the history and “personality” of the recycled objects. My recent work is exclusively collage, repurposed texts and images from old books and letters. I typically use early twentieth century materials as I prefer to work with the higher quality, non-glossy papers that were in common use at that time. I’m primarily drawn to geography, astronomy, philosophy, medical, foreign language, and school primers. As my website’s name suggests, my collages are made from torn rather than cut papers. I chose this approach so that I can focus on color, texture, composition, form and line rather than objects or meaning. I use words, text, graphs, illustration and maps for their shape and pattern rather than their intended knowledge based purpose. I like to think of them as riddles with an endless variation of answers. While I employ an “abstract” approach, the human mind is a meaning machine, and each viewer is free and welcome to construct any interpretation, value, or understanding they choose. For better or worse, we abhor a vacuum, and filling it is half the fun.
JW Goll is an artist living in Durham, North Carolina. He spent his twenties traveling throughout the American West as a photographer. In the 80s, he was a bond futures trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. After that, he was a professional artist who worked with recycled and found objects, with gallery representation in Chicago, New York, Miami, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since 2012, he has been working as a Patient Advocate in the Duke University Health System. He is currently working exclusively in collage. Older visual art can be seen at gollart.blogspot.com.