Accidental collage

One of the sad side effects of the proliferation of digital content over the years is the near disappearance of magazines. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of magazines I have lying around the house. When I was younger, one of my favourite pasttimes was cutting up the magazines that were always piling up on, around and under the coffee table to create multi-layered collages. Sometimes I would use up an entire stick of glue on one project, and often many of the pieces which seemed so important at the beginning of a collage would end up completely covered by the time I had finally decided to cap the glue stick. I now notice the same thing as I pass by certain streets looking for new shots for my collection. Images get covered, sometimes completely, other times partially, with stickers, stencils, tags, posters, even newspaper and magazine clippings. Often the result is just a peeling, wheat-pasted mess, but every now and then I stumble upon an accidental masterpiece like this one. This is just a small fragment of a large wall that’s actually a tunnel-like entrance to this small street in the Raval, called Picalquers. How much of it was planned and carefully placed I don’t know. I took several shots from different spots and this one was my favourite. To fully appreciate it, I think it needs to be seen in person.
The day I took this shot, I was momentarily inspired, and gathered the 5 or so magazines I had lying around the house, found a pair of scissors and a glue stick among some long-forgotten teaching materials. Scissors never touched paper, as I soon realized that the only magazines I had were specialized, design or fashion-related and created by friends and often very limited-edition. It would have been a very expensive (and possibly offensive) collage. A far cry from the periodicals that seemed to fill our mailbox, and then coffee table every week, automatically renenewed until the end of time…

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