Red number 5 and blue number 13 atop Van Gogh’s self-portrait. In the making of his photographic collage works, New York – based artist, Zeren Badar, uses “cheaply-printed” master paintings, contemporary foods, and other found objects highlighting the absurdity of the concept of consumerism against early 20th century social conventions.
What are the biggest challenges of collage making?
I create 3D collages. My collages are not cut and paste collages. Since they are with found objects, food and cheaply printed paintings, there are so many challenges for this kind of work.
Not every object or food works with this type of collage. Creating the concept takes so much time. Sometimes I look for an object for months. Alternatively, I look for old painting on the internet for a long time. It requires extensive research.
Of course, there is budget issue as well. Materials should not cost more than $10 for one photograph. That was the creative challenge I put for myself at the beginning of this project.
What foods or drinks inspire you? Are certain foods more “photogenic” than others are?
Cookies are the most inspiring food for me. I could go to a bakery and get ten different cookies to work with and yes, I eat them after the photo shoot. (laughs)
99 cents stores are heaven for me. The objects or food have curves and work much better than any other food or objects. They are best for my photography.
Is photography a big part of your practice?
Yes, photography is my main part of practice. I have been thinking to create performance pieces and 3D printed sculptures recently. I hope that I will achieve those in 2015. I need to raise some money in order to afford those practices.
“In many ways I examine a new type of still life.” – Zeren Badar