Hannah Höch and John Heartfield are two fundamental figures in understanding the use of collage as a means of visual expression. In the case of Hoch, her use within the aesthetic movement of Dadaism and surrealism allows her to use the medium to generate ideas within a critical and social discourse, in which the visual composition does not try to hide the artifice. The case of John Heartfield is very different, as his compositions don’t try to disguise the artifice and show the image with a certain appearance of plausibility – despite the visual disproportions and incongruities. In the latter, political intent is manifest and a priority.
For this exercise, I chose 4 relevant political figures: Donald Trump (President of the USA), Vladimir Putin (President of Russia), Nicolás Maduro (dictator of Venezuela) and Abel Caballero (Mayor of Vigo). The collages are entirely based on press photographs or chosen on the internet, and I have made small installations that I have photographed later, to create a kind of 3D collage. They’re entirely made of paper. In the case of Putin, each of the 20 images that make up the pyramid has been obtained by manipulating in Photoshop an original photograph of the Soviet leader.
I have highlighted some particular element of each leader’s character or political situation: Trump’s wall that becomes his own prison, Putin’s multifaceted personality – culminating in the double image of Putin-Zar and Putin-Rasputin, the dark Venezuelan cavern where Maduro projects the illusion of his leadership or the vanity of the mayor of Vigo who places his figure at the centre of any event.
ALL IMAGES USED IN THESE COLLAGES WERE SELECTED FROM THE PRINT MEDIA OR THE INTERNET AND ARE USED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY (NON-COMMERCIAL USE). NONE OF THE INDIVIDUAL IMAGES USED ARE TAKEN BY ME, THEREFORE THEY ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO MADE THEM.