Despite experiencing a major moment of popularity a few years back thanks to vision boards, collage art remains a niche medium, oft-forgotten by audiences who prefer handicraft skills such as drawing or painting. Because when you think about it, what’s so hard about cutting out images from a magazine or a book and sticking ’em together for a strange, finished product? Your kid can do it. Your mom does it every time she sticks magazine cutouts in her scrapbook.
Truth is, since the days of the European Dadaists of the early 20th century, plenty of established conceptual artists have explored the possibilities of taking images out of their original contexts and into something new. Many of them are included in F+ Gallery’s annual collage-only group show, “CUTPASTE.”
Now in its third year, “CUTPASTE” includes an eclectic array of work from local to international artists, curated by mixed-media maestro Michael Ziobrowski in the tiny loft space near the Santa Ana train station. This year includes a vintage retrospective by Volcom; a collaged skate deck from Bridge to Skate, a national nonprofit that aims to empower youths through skateboarding; and new work by Winston Smith, the legendary artist behind album covers for Green Day and Dead Kennedys.
With 14 exhibiting artists, this is the largest “CUTPASTE” show yet, and the growth in numbers allows for more range in styles: the politically charged, jumbled-up collages of Smith hang among the surreal, how-did-he-do-it images of Oakland artist Michael Tunk; the glitchy, cut-up photos of Portland’s Emily Hoy complement Costa Mesa-based artist Josh Madrid’s cosmic assemblage of butterflies, flowers and skulls. F+ Gallery is only open for the monthly Santiago Lofts art walk or by appointment, but it’s a worthy visit for the most jarring creations made with an X-Acto knife you’ll ever see.