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Three mixed media collage artwork by GA Gardner. Original mixed media collage on wood panel.  Portrait of Hope for Haiti.

Three Unusual, Unforgettable Collage Faces By GA Gardner

Throughout his art career, GA Gardner has done many faces and portraits through the use of his mixed media collage paintings.  His work has been made into limited edition prints and has been used on contemporary Caribbean home goods.  Here are three innovative and memorable portraits created by artist GA Gardner: 

1) Hope For Haiti.  After creating Elements of Hope of the then-president-elect Barack Obama, GA wanted to create a similar project to raise awareness for the people of the Republic of Haiti during the 2010 earthquake. GA was inspired by the photo of this boy, who, in the myths of all this devastation is wide-eyed and smiling as he looks in hope's direction.  The image contrast wonderfully with this devastating act of God.  The colors of the Haitian flag bathes him and the map of the region defines this face.  He looks away...there will be hope for Haiti.

2) International Woman.  This piece was a real experiment for GA.  After creating a series of stenciled-like collages he wanted to create a loose feel spontaneous collage portrait.  GA's fascination with cover girls and cultural identity led him to create a portrait inspired by a random model. An admirer of collage artist, the late Romare Bearden, GA began cutting from magazines with a smooth Jazz spontaneity.  A magazine image of a pile of ropes for example was perfect to cut out the top lip of the Black international woman as it provided the right tone and texture needed.  A combination of photos of African wood carvings and images of silk-like fabric were used to define her hairstyle.  Her eyes were created from two very different images one directly from an African carving and the other from a design modern lighting fixture, while architectural space is used to define some of the open areas of the forehead. And an image of a White female is at the tip of her nose as if to discuss its structure and shape. This piece is striking and ingenious and continues to fascinate viewers today.

3) GA Gardner Portrait:  While on a residency in Shanghai China GA began collecting materials that could one day be used for his mixed media collage paintings.  He would often visit the art stores to acquire unusual materials such as cork sheets and various forms of plastic printed sheets. He also collected many tourist road maps from Shanghai.  GA who did not speak or read the native language was often hand maps with Chinese scripted characters useless in helping him navigate the city.  After returning to the USA, GA began using the raw materials he collected in his collages.  One of the images he created with this material was a self-portrait. One side of the face is created from painting on Shanghai roadmaps and the other is created from a large piece of painted cork.  The road map creates an unusual modern texture to the face and the painted cork helps to ground the other side of the face.  GA created many self-portraits but this is one of his most striking self-portraits.  

These portraits and many more are available at  Shop for original mixed media collage, prints, and abstract paintings, or get stylishly comfortable with our line of art printed throw pillows.  


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