I was excited to do this post for a number of reasons—Darren is a Canadian artist who is doing something truly different in the world of collage. It's almost hard to tell sometimes that his work is collage. I first saw his work on the cover of Janine's (from UPPERCASE Gallery) publication Work/Life, and loved it. I didn't realize it was collage until I looked more closely at my copy. Since then, his work has been all over the place, and now I'm sharing it with you!
Name (Real or Screename): Darren Booth
URL (Blog, Website): www.darrenbooth.com
Location (Where are you from?): Ontario, Canada
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Painterly style with fragmented collage.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I always work with magazines. Mainly for colour blocking and textures. I also use a fair amount of vintage papers that I've found and collected over the years, or from vintage magazines.
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been working with collage since my first or second year of college, so roughly 10 years ago. One of our assignments required collage aspects and I haven't stopped using it since.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I make my living as a professional illustrator. My typography work falls into the illustration category as far as I'm concerned. I do a bit of fine art painting and design on the side, as well. The painting and design is just another outlet and gives me an excuse to do something different when I feel like it, or need to do something different.
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I graduated from the Illustration program at Sheridan College.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I guess my favourite technique is the base for most of my work. I don't know what the actual name of it would be, but I call it "Push/Pull". Basically, I block in areas with paint and then collage over top of them to create a layered affect. Then I go back in with paint and push areas back or pull them forward, then it's collage again, that push/pull or back/forth battle happens from start to finish. The collage aspects of my pieces have several functions as sometimes they're used to break an area up, or to add a texture. Other times they are covering up a mistake, or are being used to move the viewers eye around the image.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I'm a big fan of my lettering piece called Work/Life. It was one of those paintings that just happened so effortlessly, and I have very little recollection of painting it because it didn't put up a fight. The colours are my favourite aspect of it, followed by the type design. I often have to fight with colours, textures, or tones in order to execute the image that's in my mind and it's those fights I rarely forget when I look back at a painting years later.
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I like the work of Cy Twombly and a bit of Rauschenberg. Some of my illustration friends are very inspiring to me, as well, ie: Dushan Milic, Jacqui Oakley, Gary Taxali, etc...