Photomontage is a technique used in photography to overlap two different images, obtaining only one. Sometimes this technique is also used to change what we don’t like in a photo, or to modify something we have imagined differently.
In 1857 Henry Peach Robinson was the first photographer to use photomontage, and then, over the years, many artists have used it, for example the German Dadaist artist George Grosz who wanted to transform photomontage into an art form belonging to the modern art movement.
John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, Raoul Hausmann and Johannes Baader are some of the artists who have used this particular technique in their works.
Nowadays using photomontage is easier than before thanks to advanced computer programs and technologies.
“Reality is being transformed into a colossal photograph, and the montage already exists: it’s called the real world”
Shusaku Takaoka is a Japanese graphic designer who blended different elements and transformed everything we thought we knew.
Sacred images, famous paintings, popular actors or singers, politicians… Everything takes shape in the way the artist sees it and in the way he wants people to see these characters. Many people have been fascinated by his digital collages because it is funny to find in them elements that belong to different “universes” of art.
“Shusaku’s reality” is not boring, it is very original, and above all surreal.
The artist uses the photomontage technique to mix the faces of Monna Lisa or Girl with a Pearl Earring with the bodies of young people living in nowadays society. It is incredible how the most famous characters from all of art history play a completely different role when taken from their original contests. Takaoka enriches these characters with many modern elements and sometimes modifies their aspects. So it won’t be that strange to see Botticelli’s Venus wearing a slit skirt in the subway, or a tattooed Van Gogh in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette.
Takaoka’s way of doing art is simply brilliant: he manages to combine contemporary and modern culture without being banal and obvious.
“I am interested in what I term gestalts; picture circumstances which bring together disparate images or ideas so as to form new meanings and new configurations”
- Robert Heinecken
Luigi Volo, known as Kemo, is a graphic designer who has always had a great passion for art. Street artist and photographer, Kemo began to “study” also the subject of graphic design and illustrations. The artist has another big passion: he loves everything about the Disney universe and with photomontage he depicts himself with many characters such as Beauty and the Beast and Lilo and Stitch.
“I am interested not in individual readings, but in constructing networks of images and meanings capable of reflecting the complexity of the subject”
- Wolfgang Tillmans
Photomontage is a technique that allows artists to see reality in another way, and above all it is something that can color the world we live in.