John Stezaker - The Whitworth

1 December - June 2018, The Whitworth Gallery Manchester


For me John Stezaker is less of a collage artist and more of a photographer. His eye with composition, limited colour pallet and tonal qualities presents a re-imagined scene, using the same knowledge a photographer would encompass while looking through a lens. Collage for me is an art form that collates an array of ephemera to portray an instinctual emotion and almost be treated like oil on a canvas. Stezaker to me is almost presenting reality, the seamless sliced photographs blend together forming a realised image. During my time studying photography Stezaker was an initial influence for me, and led the way for my early explorations into collage art. Having an awareness of line continuation, perspective, and how we look at the works. The current exhibit at the Whitworth showcases 22 pieces, presenting a range of his slicing, mirroring and overlaying techniques. Stezaker towards his work says that his life as an artist finding, or rather being found by, these photographs, their life in waiting has become anticipatory. This line for me is incredibly true to how I work. The collages that I produce are created from materials that find me, the process is organic, I image Stezaker to instantly envision the finalised piece when he gains the right photograph. While walking around the space, there is an instinctual presence with in his pieces, they collaborate together forming an exploration into moods, scene creation and a love for the photographs he is re-envisioning.