Surreal Fine Art Photgography by Toshiko Okanoue

Toshiko Okanoue's The Miracle of SilenceRespected for her mastery of collage art, Toshiko Okanoue was also embraced as a photographer, included in 2003’s The History of Japanese Photography. Active in the 1950’s, Okanoue clipped photographs from magazines like Life and Vogue and meticulously arranged them to create surreal representations of the way she personally viewed Western life(style).

I just discovering her collages for the first time ever today – thanks to a feature in the June 2008 issue of Foam International Fine Art Photography magazine published quarterly in Amsterdam.

Often I find that color photo collage with both natural and artificial light sources just feels unorganized and noisy. Yet collage with black and white photography seems more cohesive and expressive of an overarching concept.

SPEAK OUT: Would you consider collage artists to be photographers or are they just appropriating the work of others?

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    Damien Franco

    That’s really a great quesion.

    I think if the collage artist is collaging their own photography then, yes they are a photographer that is using a “different medium technique” to present their work.

    If, however, the artist in question is not using their own photographs, then no they shouldn’t be labeled a photographer. This doesn’t discount their art, just not in that particual medium.

    If they use photographs taken by themselves and other peoples photos as well, then… I’m not so sure. I guess it would depend on the ratio of “own” work to “borrowed” work? That’s probably way too open though. Oh yeah, we’re talking about art…

    Damien Franco

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