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It starts off with a conversation between Kolaj contributor Edvard Derkert and his friend Gunnar, a painter in his late fifties working in a sort of abstract expressionistic style. They talk about two different pieces that have a lot in common, at least visually. But something is also confronting both works and their creators’ ideas. They are comparing a painting and a digital collage.
“What Gunnar saw on the screen on my laptop he found unreal. Not real in the sense of realistic. Like photorealism. Unreal, because of the fact that there is nothing to touch, no smell of turpentine, just pixels on a screen!”
This conversation must be seen as a pretext, a starting point for Derkert to elaborate on the perception and legitimacy of digital collage using unexpected detours and colorful analogies.
By Edvard Derkert
The first cut is the deepest. I encountered the collage at the age of 12 through album covers of the Beatles and Frank Zappa. Also, their music went hand in hand with collage. Early post production. I was very young, everything was possible, collage became my means of expression. A true collage kid. I cut up pictures, texts, films and music. Collage was, in my experience, rooted in pop culture; the history of modern art came to me years later, but it was not a big surprise when I found out that the Beatles had collaborated with Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton – two of the major figures in British pop art. So from early on in my life I have more or less been glued to the collage.
Edvard Derkert was born 1954 in Stockholm. He has no formal education as an artist, but has been making collages and art since he was 12. Derkert has also been active as a musician, playing free-form jazz on saxophone and guitar. Apart from making art, he works as an illustrator and graphic designer. Derkert has published books, including Cut & Paste: Collage in Theory and Practice. Derkert is active in the Nationalgalleriet, Sweden’s oldest existing artist-driven gallery. Works by the artist can be found on his website: www.edvardderkert.se