Zach Collins

4″x3″; paper; 2018

Zach Collins
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA


My work is about memories-tragic, humorous, and everything in-between. I investigate the unexpected associations and experiment in combining these contrasting materials with collage.

My current intention is to produce work that looks beyond the expressed content in the original mass communications materials used. For me, collage is liberating because it is unbound by rules. At its core, collage is a defiant act; ripping, tearing, cutting, sanding and gluing found materials goes against most formal artistic traditions. I identify with the “they- said-not-to-do-it, so-I-did-it” mentality at its foundation. Similar to the universality of mass communications, the freedom from expected outcomes and punk rock “do-it-yourself” nature of collage make it accessible to a wider collective. The act of choosing collage alone embodies the resistance to social customs and speaks to the rebellious aspects of my personality.

By working this way, I am flipping the context (literal to formal) and stripping the historicity; giving a new presentation, producing non-objective or abstract collages that depend completely on the elements of composition, colour, shape, process and surface to provide interest for the viewer. I simultaneously dispel the intended context of the image while creating a new one as soon as I cut it from the source. I then reinvent it, remix it along with accompanying pieces, into a new conversation—one that expands the concept using recognizable, yet fractured components.

I am attracted to many of the formal characteristics of mass communication: the graphic typefaces, along with elements of fading, uneven color blends, halftone patterns, off- registration and the tactile nature of the paper. Before working in analog collage, I felt berated by mass communication. I was distracted by the imagery and passed by all of the detailed elements that now fuel my collages. Coopting this imagery largely designed as commercial persuasion for use in my own open-ended abstract artistic message is a creative act of defiance that activates viewers rather than rendering them passive consumers.


I was born in Grinnell, Iowa. I received a BA from Upper Iowa University, a MA from the University of Iowa, and MFA from Minneapolis Collage of Art and Design. Currently I call Albuquerque, New Mexico home. I am pursuing several art-related projects. My work, which is shown extensively in the U.S. and internationally, is about memories–tragic, humorous, and everything in between. I experiment with ironic and often unrecognizable imagery. My work is an investigation of the unexpected associations that are created by combining fragmented materials through collage.


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4″x3″; paper; 2017
6″x4.5″; paper; 2019
4″x3″; paper; 2016
6″x4″; paper; 2015