COLLAGE ON VIEW
Cut It Out! – Betsy Silverman
at Edgewater Gallery at the Falls in Middlebury, Vermont, USA
7 August-30 September 2020
When Betsy Silverman looks at magazines, she sees more than articles, photographs, and advertisements. Her eyes also break down the pages before her into gradations of color, as well as words and symbols that mark time and place. The pages become her palette; scissors and glue are her tools. She uses them in the way that other artists might dip a brush into a glob of paint.
The results of Silverman’s cutting and gluing are stunningly realistic depictions of New England life that offer far more than what meets the eye. The closer one looks, the more awestruck one becomes. Viewers get lost in an ocean of pieces of paper–some cut so finely that they must be applied with a magnifying glass and tweezers. Silverman painstakingly orchestrates the individual paper cuttings into images of Vermont farms, covered bridges, and the streets of serene villages or bustling cities. Simultaneously, she creates an interplay between her subjects and individual snippets from which they are composed. In dairy cows, one finds the inquiry “Got Milk?”, as well as a reference to butterscotch ice cream. An elephant, a kitten, and flamingos are among the images that define the textures of a riverbank. Horses graze in front of a thicket crafted from a mass of images, including photos of Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, and Elvis Presley. Images of bright feathers, cloth, and lipstick are transformed into a spread of glistening donuts. Remnants of New England history and culture, such as Red Sox and Celtics players, often appear in Silverman’s works. Applying resurrected magazine pages, so as to form new pictures that retain the memories and stories of the old ones, Silverman’s works yield clever, humorous, and even paradoxical combinations–all in the service of her art.
(text adapted from the artist’s press materials)
Edgewater Gallery at the Falls
1 Mill Street
Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA
and by appointment