The Glue Boy: Paul Butler and the Art of Collage

The floor of the gallery is covered in paper, and you can’t see the surfaces of the tables for all the magazines. The walls are plastered. You see images, half-images, and the edges of images strewn across the entire space. Everywhere you look there’s paper. Where there isn’t paper there’s glue, exacto blades, and beer bottles. You’re looking at a Collage Party…There’s no hierarchy, the consistent impetus-*facteur *Paul Butler, the Winnipeg-based artist who, beginning in 1997, hosts Collage Parties in cities across the world.

“Alongside organizing Collage Party and creating his own work, Butler also divides his time yet again by playing the role of gallerist, representing artists in the open market. He successfully shows his artist online, at international art fairs and in private meetings and has curated exhibitions for other gallerists. Other Gallery is not like Collage Party, but it i still another king or art intervention.”

“In his “World Without Fashion” series, Butler cut the model from a magazine ad, then laid another image or more beneath, layering into her silhouette. This void, a contour of a woman’s form, became a keyhole, an aperture, a valley of uncanny thoughts. These collages, like John Stezaker’s own silhouette works, are the product of a keen eye for matchmaking. Butler can take two images that are seemingly impossible mates, full of friction, with nothing in common, and find inseparable connections.”

Volume 27, Number 3: Winnipeg

This article originally appeared in Border Crossings #107, published August 2008.

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