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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A few questions with Mike Germon

Mike Germon is often behind the scenes, whether as gallery manager for MINT or blogging on Thoughtmarker or at his day job doing freelance video production. This weekend, though, he'll be on the other side of things, showing his work as a collage artist alongside Truett Dietz for Source at Beep Beep Gallery.

What can you tell me about the source for your collages? Magazines?

Most of my source material for this show come from books that I get from thrift stores. I like to use art history books, science text books, and books of photography. I also used a lot of space images from a calendar of NASA photography but no magazines. Truett Dietz (the other artist in Source) is more of a magazine guy. He uses a lot of National Geographic and more news oriented stuff.

What's your process like?

Sometimes I'll scan images and do things to them in photoshop before reprinting them, but for the most part they are straight out of books. What usually happens is after a trip to some thrift stores I go through and cut out a lot of my favorite images and just hold on to them for a while. At some point I make quick collages on my scanner and use these photocopies as sketches for the final pieces that I end up putting together from original clippings.

  • Courtesy of Mike Germon

What's your goal with the collages?

I think a number one concern is composition and aesthetics, which the process dictates to an extent. Then I'll have specific ideas or meanings that I'll work into the pieces. I remember reading a quote where Beck said the reason his albums are all so different is because he is always making the kind of music that he wants to hear at the time. That may seem obvious but I think that is a good thing for artists to think about. So I consciously try to create work that I would like to see rather than focusing too much on outside opinions.

There are definitely some themes running through a lot of the pieces in the show. The one I get asked about a lot is the religious imagery. There is a lot of it and it does have some specific meanings to me but is more of a result of my reliance on art history books as a major source. Space is another theme. I see science, religion and art as historically intertwined.

Do you think of yourself primarily as one title or another? How does the collage work interact with your other jobs?

Video production is more of a day job while curating, designing, and collage work are what I do when I'm not paying my bills. One thing that I've noticed recently is a parallel between collage work and curating. They both involve finding relationships between different ideas, aesthetics, artists or whatever, and then putting them together and trying to produce a new whole.

  • Courtesy of Mike Germon

What artists influence your collage work? What besides artists influence your collages?

Max Ernst produced a series of zines in the 1930's called Une Semaine De Bonte which is extremely inspiring. Eduardo Recife is a contemporary designer who creates a lot of digital collage work that I like. I also like to browse places like thrift stores, record stores, antique shops, book stores and prop houses. I'm really interested in these places that are just filled with stuff.

Source, featuring work by Mike Germon and Truett Dietz, opens at Beep Beep Gallery on Sat., Sept. 11 at 8 pm.

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