Arts & Culture

Getting to know the Brooklyn Collage Collective

Bushwick trades in brownstones for graffiti-covered warehouses – and the deeper you venture toward Troutman Street, the closer you’ll get to the nook housing the Brooklyn Collage Collective.

Founded in 2013 by Morgan Lappin, the Collective cultivates the works of local collage artists.

Morgan Lappin

Viewed as a more contemporary art form, collage involves assembling different components into a larger work of art: think different forms of media such as designs, word cut-outs, miscellaneous items, differing textures and pictures all compiled together. The Collective’s efforts have garnered both national and international attention (Lappin tells me that Brooklyn Collage Collective was the catalyst for the U.K.’s Glue Club and Australia’s Sydney Collage Society.)

Two weeks ago, the Collective hosted a mixed media exhibition featuring artwork from Lappin, Jessie Laura, Stephanie Cortazzo, and Joey Karwacki. The entire exhibit was in-house within the Collective’s basement and was sponsored by Long Island-based Blue Point Brewery.

“Yes, it’s a basement show, but it’s also a functional gallery and in the future, having it act as a pop-up space is something we’re aiming for,” Cortazzo said.

Stephanie Cortazzo

Seen as an unconventional medium within the art world, Lappin coins collage as a more rebellious art form. The reason, the artists tell me, is because collage is a more “democratic medium” and you don’t have to formally matriculate from art school to engage with collage.

The medium is also growing in popularity because of the Internet, according to Lapin. Given that the Internet has risen in popularity, books are no longer needed as much and therefore, are seen as less sacred. Hence, there’s less guilt when you occasionally rip out a page to use for a collage.

“Collage is an underrated medium, so we’re trying to elevate that,” Laura said. “It’s such an accessible medium.”

Jessie Laura

One effort in expanding collage’s accessibility is the Collective’s live collage sessions. Two large tables were sprawled with magazines for the last session, inviting those of all artistic talents to come give it a shot. Other themed exhibits have also been held such as ‘Meat Space’ which, you guessed it, was meat-themed.

This week the Collective will host ‘Where Did Waldo Go?‘ on October 18th between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., which will depict Waldo’s travels through the collage medium. Those who attend dressed as Waldo can score 10% off any artwork costing $100 or more.

And next up? An upcoming print show in December, but Lappin says to also keep an eye out for a future podcast with Brooklyn-based collage artist Noah Tavlin. Besides that, the Collective aims to continue elevating collage toward becoming a widely recognized medium.

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