I always find something disturbing in collage technique
As an art form, collage is a powerful tool. It combines new artistic elements with elements that are already there: photographs, newspaper cuttings, cultural markers.
“I always find something disturbing in collage technique”, says Beata Śliwińska. The Polish visual artist, who goes by the name of Barrakuz, creates collage that can have just this kind of edge.
A poster with a circularly cut out Renaissance portrait painting reveals a graphic leopard climbing out, titled ‘Times New Romantic’. In another work, a cityscape is torn apart by floating hands, the symbolism of the city blends with fantasy. “It’s mix of deformation, deconstruction, using copies of the same elements and putting them into one piece”, explains Beata about her aesthetic signature. “I always use really smooth cut-lines, so more than half my art is full of dynamism, always floating.” Her style can be viewed as taking collage – a 2 dimensional art form – and adding 3D elements to it.
Though trained as an architect, Beata soon found, after graduation, that her artistic vision began to develop. She started her practice in 2012 and designed her first piece of commercial digital collage art, a record cover, about 3 years ago. What she’s continued to do is experiment with the digital aspect of it all. “Collage-style illustration or visuals are unpredictable - you never know what the final look will be”, she exclaims. “That’s is so exciting!”
Typically, collage is a fast-paced art form – even when it was Picasso or Braque trying it out in the beginning of the 20th century. For Beata, it’s no different, mostly. “It is fast work with lots of fast effects”, she says. But she does take her time to immerse herself in the subject, a process she calls: “hunting”. But, “it really depends of type of work. There are projects, which I design really quickly, because I have an idea, and the collage technique gives me the chance to make it quickly.” Some projects can take longer but she finds that “often that kind of art is more effective and spectacular than the long-term projects.” And yet, she’s adamant: “the most important thing is the idea. Not the time spent on it.”
For Komono, Beata elected to work completely digitally and to incorporate her signature elements. “I tried to put lots of things in it, like dynamism, surrealism, cut forms, and wild animals, which you can also find in other pieces of mine.”
The Komono work is multi-faceted and full of new things to see. The shape of the watch – often found in surrealist art by, for example, Dalì – was something she found “a really good one to put into a collage.” She continues: “There are a lots of layers and attributes as saturation and hue, shadows, masks added. I always love it when the art you are looking at forces you to think and surprises.”