Arbel Ratzin aka Arbel420AKA
Analog, digital and mixed media collages
I’m Arbel420AKA and I’m a Canadian collage and comic artist. I’ve been doing collages for over 2 decades and I like to call my style “popDADAsurrealism”.
My work is mostly in , but not limited to, digital techniques - combining my original photography with vintage images, pop culture imagery and art history symbolism. As an illustrator, I often add hand drawn art to my collages as well. I always try to create a place that looks familiar but still weird and surreal at the same time.
Here’s a link to my self-published collage book, with over 150 pages and hundreds of collages:
I love the process of collage-making. My art process is totally intuitive. Flipping through magazines and old books, I turn a page and instantly an image speaks to me. I know I have to use it as a basis for a new collage. What often takes time is finding the other elements that work with it.
Working analog forces me to overcome the obvious, using images I hadn’t imagined would work, allowing connections I would have never consciously chosen. I love this part of the process—What will I find? How will it work? The final results are often far better than I originally conceived.
My best compositions are aided by the spirit of the Dadaists, when I accidentally bump a not-yet-glued composition creating a better arrangement than I had ever planned! One of the most exciting discoveries when turning over a scrap is finding what was hiding on the flipside. Being patient and letting the work come into being on its own is key. Forcing a piece always leads to disaster.
Analog collage and mixed media
Hailey Mullock creates analog collages, books, and zines. Her work is inspired by ideas of memory, history, and home and how these connect individuals together.
She completed a Master of Information in collaboration with Book History and Print Culture from the University of Toronto. Learning about documents and records of the past during her degree has influenced her interest in how people continue to record aspects of their lives in different ways. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
As a collagist, I’m looking for color exploration and how to blend the traditional concepts of collage. I spend time pondering the message I wish to convey, and how to symbolize it. As a result, I usually create several collages about the same topic from different perspectives. The majority of my work is digital, which allows me a multitude of possibilities that suits my creative process.
My body of work is deeply connected to my experience as an immigrant. Having been a performer for more than a decade, I rediscovered art through collage when I moved to Canada in 2014. Differences in culture, society, and language motivated me to reinvent myself. Being alone in a new country gave me time to think, and find possibilities to deal with these differences, which result in several collages divided in series.
I make analog collages using vintage magazines and books. National Geographic magazines from the 1930s to the 70s are a consistent source of inspiration. Trying to find a balance between the natural and the abstract, I like to think of my collages as magic paths, revealing symbols of things forgotten or fragmented memories. The faces peering out are benevolent ghosts of time.
I have written poetry and music but I think collage is the best expression of my soul.
Mixed media collage
Holly Edwards’ work is focused on figurative abstraction using acrylics and mixed media. Her work is influenced by her studies in Philosophy at McMaster University and her interests in abstract expressionism.
Holly is a predominantly a self-taught artist who has curated her own studies with a structured life-drawing practice and ongoing investigation of technique and mediums through various workshops and classes. Her practice is process based, experimental and contemplative. She has completed an art residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands, and Bareneed studios in Newfoundland and has shown at many galleries in group juried shows, and has had several recent solo shows.
Analog and Mixed media collage
My work is about memories: it examines reminiscing and the flow of time through the constantly changing landscape of memories. It revolves around the ideas of memory retrieval and memory preservation. My aim is to turn memories into shapes and bursts of colour (and sometimes words) in an attempt to save fleeting moments.
With collage the emphasis is placed on process, carefully planning out the choice of materials and exploring my fascination with texture and form.
Robert Aloe AKA Club Lettera
Port Perry, Ontario
Robert Aloe is originally trained a professional graphic designer and educator in the design world. The idea of analog collage was a walkout on the digital medium. Taking inspiration from outside sources, like music.
Italian bred and Canadian born, working as an analog collage artist under the name Club Lettera.
Each work is an open letter reflecting concepts strictly of found items. The envelope is the root of all delivery of these messages and is consistent in each work. The envelope also is not seen as a piece of trash in most cases, but the messenger of this open letter to the viewer. The theme is usually derived by specific musical tracks and occasionally contain lyrics from those songs.
The works are reflections that evoke everyday moments and can collide into tidal waves. Music can inspire emotions that are not always as intended by the artists. Club Lettera navigates musical expression to channel a more deliberate voice of the message.
No digital content is the bottom line. Envelopes + Music + Analog Expression = Club Lettera.
I use paper and weaving techniques to express feelings and emotions about my life, celebrities and the absurdity of the human experience.
Denise (Dee) Calzavara
Since art school in the 90s, at a later stage in life, my motto has been “when life goes to pieces…creativity as healing”. That became an art show at the Gibson Gallery in Amherstburg, Ontario in 2011. Most of the 100+ pieces of art in that exhibit were collage or assemblage.
Since then I’ve been creating a series called Sacred Spirals. I glue ripped colored magazine paper scraps, in the 7 colors of the light spectrum, to varied sizes of canvases (some canvases are from my recycle pile!). This work will be in an exhibit September 2023 in Amherstburg.
When people find out I’m an artist they usually ask, “oh, do you paint?” I reply, “No, I use a palette of pieces!”
I lean towards a recycle/reuse type of art making. I was influenced by the Arte Povera movement of the 60-70s, as well as growing up in a fruit/veggie farming family.
St. Thomas, Ontario
Eric Bargenda is a seasoned design director with over 20 years of graphic design experience. Eric has taken his love for graphic design, ephemera and all things vintage and applied it to the art of analog collage. Eric’s work is 100% cut, pasted and pressed, avoiding digital and mechanical enhancements and techniques. His work covers a wide range of themes and pulls influences from comic books, pulp and sci-fi novels and magazines as well as commercial and fine art.