Colin Strohm is a collagist, photographer, retoucher and recovering printmaker living and working near Green-Wood Cemetery
This body of work integrates many practices from the past 20 years: the studio photographs of Mint Juleps & Needles, reworking & manipulating large format digital prints as in blueeyed boy and Cat Paintings, the dissolving & contradictory perspectives and positive-negative spatial enigmas of FF, digitally mediating photos as in Blue Paintings and the Photoshop from my retouching profession. What is important in these works is a fantastical, vertiginous weightlessness at the point where the subjects begin oscillate back and forth between thing and thinglessness, flipping between the familiar and the arcane, mundane and mysterious. I do not know what to call these objects: they are photo-based, manipulated digitally, printed, collaged, painted on, photographed, manipulated digitally, printed, collaged…within a self-contained, self-regenerating studio ecosystem. They are cannibals, ouroboroses, the production of one feeding the next.
I bought an Ikea couch that came in this huge box, almost as big as the apartment I was living in. I cut it in to manageable size pieces and made collages out of it and all the other packaging from that trip. When I used all the materials, the project was complete.
Cardboard, pastel, collage 2000-2002, 8.5"x11"-ish
While working making Iris prints, I collected the weekly calibration tests. The inks were water soluble. These print I laid on the floor with 5 cups of water, one in each corner and one in the center. The pieces here are what happened after my cats knocked over the cups. Concurrently I made a series of drip paintings by tacking test prints to the wall and spraying them with water.
Iris prints, 1999, 46"x34"
Lately, truth is flexible… then distorted. It's become this seething, wheezing fantasia – glitchy – corrupted, digitally and literally, systematically, evolving over time like bacteria to antibiotics, developing resistance to reason and legibility. Watching a car wreck in slow motion. There's some dopamine trigger waiting to be stroked at any moment. Oh, there it is…