4/2/14 a new collage, started yesterday: "gria cape" 13x14 inches / by Philip Tarlow

gria cape derives it's title from the cape of the same name on the cycladic island of andros, an island i am deeply familiar with. in love with, really. it can be located on the clipping of the map of the island in the upper left quadrant of the collage and in the detail, below right.


maps are an increasingly important part of my recent collages. korzybski, founder of general semantics, famously said "the map is not the territory." his underlying theories are complex and i won't attempt to go into them here. suffice it to say, for me, in this context of an "abstract" collage, the map functions on many different levels simultaneously: compositionally, spatially, coloristically and emotionally. not unlike aboriginal australian artists, for me the map IS the territory. not a representation on paper of the place; the actual place!

 it triggers a flood of feelings related to my experience of the island of andros: it's geography; it's people, it's climate; the taste and fragrance of the aegean.....

why would one intentionally go to this remote cape? if you're a fisherman, you might go because there's more likely to be an interesting school of edible fish than there might be in more populated areas. if you're a ship owner, you might go because you can. you have a yacht which allows you & your friends to go to deserted beaches to swim.

and how has this remote and starkly beautiful cape found itself in the company of marks inspired by an 11th c. chinese calligrapher, bits of drawings of a remote creek in south central colorado, snippets of photographs of complex mechanical watches, matisse paintings and more? what exactly is their relationship? did it exist before this collage brought them together?

the surrealists and painters in the dada movement relied on the power of the unconscious, using it to forge relationships between seemingly disparate things and create new and unexpected relationships. i feel, as they did, that when it comes to conscious mind, we are only barely touching the surface of what we see and know to be the truth. our delight at moving the pieces of the puzzle to create new realities is ancient. remembering always that the puzzle is not the territory!

it's a mystery, really.