Paige Saez: Pocket-size Theme Park

Opens January 8, 2015, 7-10pm

3359 Cesar Chavez St
San Francisco, CA 94110


Most of us have made a collage at some point in our lives, or have at least seen plenty of them. When I hear the word collage, I think not first of the sophisticated Dadaism of Hannah Hoch, but rather of glossy magazine cutouts, overlapping and haphazardly arranged with excessive horror vacui, the curved edges of the cut paper curling where there was not enough paste. This genre of creative production may be the exclusive domain of preteen girls. Perhaps that is why I am so delighted with Paige Saez’s recent series of collages. Saez takes a page, so to speak, from the process of these amateur collage works, but completely departs from them on a formal level, producing colorful abstractions that balance delicately on fields of white space, urbane and guileless at once.

Saez’s point of departure is the magazine cutout. But rather than cut along the outline of some existing form, Saez arbitrarily cuts oblong shapes out of textures she likes. In a move that is most likely a premeditated effort to step away from the clichéd magazine collage described above, Saez then scans the cutout shape and prints it onto sticker paper multiple times. This eliminates the glossy magazine texture and ensures uniform adhesion. She then “paints” with these sticker shapes, augmenting the emerging forms with actual paint, crayon, and other materials as she sees fit. Her convoluted and grown-up take on the cutout collage has produced a series of brightly colored, well-balanced, fun abstractions that blur the distinction between childlike and sophisticated.

Paige Saez’s new body of work is on display at the San Francisco Institute of Possibility now thru January, with an artist reception Thursday, January 8 at 7pm.

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