Material Drift: Speculative Collage for an Uncertain Future
I use traditional art supplies (acrylic paint, gouache, brushes, RivesBFK paper) with a temporal mix of found and collected materials: foiled Cheetos bags, tree bark, the molded plastic form from a AA battery 6-pack, wood shavings and frozen pizza boxes. On any given day, the household recycling can rival the palettes of Giotto, Hilma af Klint and Kerry James Marshall, combined. My approach to collage builds on a range of influences that include Kurt Schwitters, the speculative fiction of William Gibson, Heisenberg’s uncertainly principle and CRISPER-Cas9, the controversial gene-editing tool. CRISPR is an apt metaphor. I cut and splice materials to propagate idiosyncratic, hybrid forms. All active edges and complex layering, each piece is equal parts composition and decomposition. Scraps and fragments of commercial packaging (text, printed graphics, coded corporate icons) often cycle back into the work as cultural signifiers or strange haiku moored in the subsurface.
Dan Schimmel, BFA (1989) University of California, Berkeley, MFA (1997) University of Iowa, is an artist based in Philadelphia and Brooksville, Maine. He has exhibited work at the Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and Philadelphia galleries and artist spaces. For ten years (2001-2013) Schimmel was Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the Esther Klein Gallery (Philadelphia).