Matching Image Soulmates: The Vision of Collage Artist Jorge Chamorro

Flowers, soup bowl or a skull? The Madrid born collage artist Jorge Chamorro is sitting by a table at his coworking space ESDIP Berlin in Friedrichshain, trying to figure out what to glue on top of a renaissance looking painting of a young girl. He alternates between the three options; tries them out one by one. Flowers? Soup bowl? Skull?

Jorge primarily makes analogue collages. He prefers that over digital collages both because he likes getting away from the computer and because it adds an element of surprise to the work. “When you work with analogue collages you have the table full of papers and if you work a couple of days you have the whole house full of papers. The papers can randomly create something together. Random is super important in collage. Random is important in life”, he explains passionately.  

Working with analogue collages means that Jorge spends a lot of time flipping through books and magazines to find the perfect image for one of his pieces. “I own maybe a couple of cubic metres of books, which actually is less than other collage artists”, he says with a laugh and continues: “Sometimes you make a collage in five minutes but sometimes a piece is waiting to be finished for years. I recently made a collage with a bottom of a woman which I cut when I just arrived in Berlin three years ago”.  

Jorge takes out folder after folder filled with his finished artworks and then carefully puts his pieces on the table. They all breathe an air of simplicity and are often made with only two different images. “I like to express the most with the least. But I’m not a big defender of “less is more” sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more and sometimes less is just boring. There is a thin line between minimal and boring and for me it’s interesting to play with this line”, he says.

“The beautiful thing with art is that you don’t know where you’re going. I don’t want to know what I’ll be doing in 10 years, I like to have no idea about it.”

After a while the whole table is filled with collages. The key ingredient to his artworks seems to be the unexpected, like for example an inanimate object on top of a face, a rip instead of a cut or a duplicate of the same pair of eyes on the same picture. “Collage is very much about opening your eyes and being awake. You need to have a good eye to see what works”, Jorge states.

Besides being a collage artist Jorge also works as a designer and a teacher. “The things I do are different from each other, but still very connected. They are like three rivers that go to the same sea”, he explains and continues: “I wouldn’t want to make collages for eight hours a day everyday, it would be very boring with the scissors and the glue. I like these three things – they complement and help each other”.  

Jorge takes one of his pieces off the table and holds it up against the wall. “What do you think is best, with or without passe-partout?”, he asks the people around him. He’s preparing for his upcoming solo exhibition and the book launch of his third book Glued in Berlin (which was held on Mars 4th). “The title has a double meaning. Both that the pieces have been glued here in Berlin and in the sense that when I came here the first summer I felt glued to the city”, he says.

A few days later the coworking space is filled with the smell of paella and curious visitors there to check out Jorge’s exhibition. The artworks have left the table and taken over the walls. On a pillar near the entrance hangs a renaissance looking painting of a young girl. Her long brown hair is now framing a soup bowl instead of her face. The decision has been made and glued – Jorge found the solution for this piece as well!  

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