In the studio, I am constantly playing with a relationship of conscious choice and chance; intentional mark making and also the unexpected beautiful accidents. What will the layers of my collages reveal? My collage paintings are composed of paper, fabric, image transfers, painting and drawing. Imagery is a balance of abstract and figurative including ethereal images of beauty, bold colour and texture. I view my work as a kind of self portrait and believe that art is a powerful vehicle for self exploration. It can also be a tool for communicating on a more universal level. I hope to bridge this gap between the personal and universal.
Mixed media collage is not only the physical art I create, but a technique that permeates my daily experience. In my studio I shuffle 100 music stations; an unexpected tune shifts my mood and allows for a more expansive view. Every morning I create wearable collage on my body. For me, dressing is the most direct expression of art and collage. The human body is the ultimate walking, breathing canvas.
I grew up in a home filled with Victorian furniture and a varied enormous collection of tchotchkes. These odd juxtapositions made a lasting impression and instilled an affinity for collage. My mother’s vintage business also inspired my work and my love of vintage fabric, clothing and treasure hunts blossomed. Scouring thrift and antique shops, I find beauty and inspiration in discarded objects. On a walk I stumble upon a bright coloured button and am instantly transported down a path; a portal towards a new collage.
Nicole Strafaci is a multi-media artist currently focused on mixed media collage. She has created wearable art and has written and performed solo plays. The artist lived in Los Angeles for 13 years. Los Angeles expanded her creative repertoire to include performance, writing and fashion. Currently based in Frenchtown, New Jersey, Nicole grew up in Central New Jersey. She received a BFA in Photography from Montclair State University in 1994 with studies abroad in Italy and Holland. Her love of collage began in the darkroom when she witnessed portraits appear in the developer. The transition from photographic live subject to printed image was a defining experience for her akin to a sort of psychological collage. She began cutting and pasting; creating her first collages. One of these early works was sold to Director of Imaging and Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Vintage fabrics are a central component in her current work as well as image transfers, paper collage, painting, drawing and text.
Nicole’s work is included in private collections in the US and abroad and she has participated in many juried group shows and eight solo exhibitions. She was awarded “Best of Show” by renowned art critic David Levi Strauss at Westbeth Gallery, New York City just two years after graduating from college. She has had her work reviewed and praised by legendary photographer Duane Michals. Nicole was commissioned to create wearable art for New York Times best selling author Kami Garcia and has sold her collage cards to boutiques and stores including Neiman Marcus and Barneys.