COLLAGE ON VIEW
Michael Sjostedt: Catalog
at The Elusie Gallery in Easthampton, Massachusetts, USA
4-30 November 2022
Michael Sjostedt says about this work:
I grew up with catalogs: Sears, JC Penny, Montgomery Ward. Giant bibles of cool stuff. As a kid, I’d dive into the catalogs from cover to cover when they arrived in the mail, closely studying the toys, bikes, furniture, and the men’s clothes.
I haven’t flipped through these “cultural artifacts” in nearly 40 years. When I did, I got lost again. Page after page was jampacked with so much information—practical, like over-sized pricing, and editorial, like the idealized man in everyday scenarios. Doing a deep dive into these vintage catalogs as an adult—and with a 21st century lens—showed me how much of a role “the tools of consumerism” informed the foundation of my identity—and how I viewed and compared myself to others.
When I started the series, I wanted to create evidence of how I consumed imagery and messages that I had a deep, charged history with. I started from instinct, not overthinking the process—like I did when I was “shopping”: culling, layering, extracting, and incorporating other materials and techniques that connected with the experience and subject matter—sewing patterns, pencil-drawn grids, tape transfers. The final collection illustrates how I look out to look in—and look out again. The messy visual narrative is what it felt like to catalog my experience with content focused on buying what you can be.
See the entire series HERE.
(text adapted from materials provided by the artist)
The Elusie Gallery
Old Town Hall
43 Main Street
Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027 USA