3 collages of photocopies on paper
16.51 x 11.43 cm. image size, 30.5 x 25.5 cm. framed
Courtesy the artist
Joseph Staples has been garnering rapt attention in Vancouver and abroad with his collage works: complicated, kinetic bodies constructed out of image reproductions. For his 2012 exhibition Value/Devalue, Staples derived an entire show from a single found photograph. Photocopying this source material, he created six collages; then, he reproduced these collages as enlarged screen prints, which he also cut and reassembled. Through this material process, whereby Staples’s strategy of repetition was not contained to an individual work but extended across a series, in which the artist investigated notions of value, facsimile and originality.
Presented here are three of the original collages that inspired the other works in Value/Devalue. Delicately cut, the layered papers distort a vernacular found portrait into enigmatic, disrupted assemblages. The diversity of the three works is striking. They attest to Staples’s extraordinary ability expand images beyond themselves, envisioning – and realising – countless possible works within a lone picture.
Joseph Staples (b. 1974, Saskatchewan) is a visual artist based in Vancouver. In 2014, Staples won the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver’s Emerging Artist Prize, and inaugurated Burrard Arts Foundation’s residency programme. Recent exhibitions include Light Box Space (2016) at Gallery 295, Vancouver; Elegant Living (2015) at Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver; Joseph Staples and Chic Connell (2014) at Southeastern Contemporary Art Gallery, Hammond, Louisiana. His work was also included in WE: VANCOUVER, 12 Manifestos for the City (2012) at the Vancouver Art Gallery, curated by Bruce Grenville. He has also created public artworks, including Falun Dancer (2014) located at Burrard and Alberni in Vancouver.