I usually find new and exciting artists through online art sites like Visual News, Lost At E Minor and 50 Watts, or magazines like Hi Fructose or Juxtapoz. But I found this week’s featured artist, Chicago illustrator and collage artist Michael Waraksa, through my latest addiction: Pinterest. I was immediately drawn to the complexity of his collages, the intricate layering, the bizarre juxtapositions of mashed-up figures (like in New Aluminum Thursday, above) and his sly commentary on modern life.
A Chicago based artist/illustrator and a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Waraksa has exhibited his work at various venues around the United States and his illustrations have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, TIME and The Los Angeles Times, and many of the pieces seen here are part of his extensive editorial work.
Michael explains his work by saying, “I see collage as a form of recycling. I am attempting to build something new and unexpected by layering and juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together. Scraps of text, photographic material from books, magazines and the web, my own photography and drawings along with items fished out of the trash or found blowing in the wind may all find their way into the mix. I allow any preconceived ideas to take impulsive detours as my final destination is purposely vague. Nature, history, technology, advertising and dreams are some reoccurring themes and influences but much of the direction is driven by my subconscious and simple reaction to the elements at hand. Any meaning is mostly open ended and the viewer is encouraged to fill in the blanks.”
Check out more of the dense, fascinating collage art of Michael Waraska in the gallery after the jump.