German collage artist Ines Kouidis has always had a fascination with movie stars, rock- and pop stars, fashion icons, people, and their stories.
Old newspapers, glossy magazines, posters, and paper of any kind are Ines’s colors, her source. Each portrait is a journey of discovery. The paper is like a witness. Even the smallest scrap of paper tells a story and like through a puzzle she creates a new appearance of the person.
German Collage Artist Explores Pop Culture
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An artist from the beginning
Art was Ines’s favorite subject in elementary school. Her very first exhibitions graced the walls of the school building. In the 90s, she improved her skills at the Free Academy of Arts in Berlin and worked with various artist groups.
In 2000, she founded her studio in Berlin, where she still lives and works.
The power of each shred
“When I got in touch with using paper, I was overwhelmed by the power of each shred,” Ines says. “The idea grew to put the paper scraps into some old portraits I had drawn. The first collage I made was a portrait of my twins. This was in 2010.”
She uses different cutouts, photos, and text fragments, yesterday’s headlines – vintage pieces from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s combined with the poppy colors of the present to create a playful mishmash of nostalgia and Zeitgeist.
Paper is like a witness. Each collage is a puzzle consisting of small scraps and individual stories. Combined they form an overall appearance, a unique staging, that might not be visible at first sight, but on closer inspection. The audience should discover the messages in the work, even if they need a magnifying glass.
“I try to find magazines and newspapers from all over the world,” Ines says. “Some are really collectors’ items and it can be really hard when I have to destroy them. I use money notes, praline paper, posters I find in the streets, wrapping paper for presents, old documents, and book sheets.” She carries a cutter with her no matter where she goes.
“I see myself as a storyteller and also entertainer, who sends the viewer on a journey of discovery – through characters, careers, fortunes, and dreams,” Ines says. “My work gives me great pleasure and I want the fun to swap over to the viewer.”
She loves creating work inspired by Hollywood pop icons. The beautiful Audrey Hepburn, famous painter Frida Kahlo, the Rolling Stones or Ludwig von Beethoven and politicians like Helmuth Schmidt and JFK, people who have left a remarkable footprint in this world.
She researches the biography of the person, the individual life before she starts. She’s gotten to know her or him, watch their movies, read their lyrics, and listen to their music.
Besides her paperworks on canvas, she does smaller paper pieces, where she focuses on leaving as much white open as possible. The mind finishes the portrait even when it is made of a few scraps.
Honors and exhibits
By presenting my collage works on Saatchi Art she had her first success. A work of three smoking boys in front of the New York Skyline named “Babyface” – a big triptych, was sold to a collector in New York.
Her work has been displayed in various exhibitions in Germany and abroad. Her work can be found in private collections in Europe as well as in the US. She often gets requests for commissions and among others, she was asked to portrait the Kardashian family.
At the moment she is working on a collage of Piccadilly Circus for her new series of cityscapes. She likes to switch between portraits and cities because they have important things in common, a unique personality, and an interesting story to tell.
To see Ines’s latest work, visit Saatchi Art >
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What do you think?