This collage was created on commission for private clients in Albuquerque. The idea was for me to make a piece of art with their collection of postcards and other mementos from travels in Russia. But I could not imagine taking scissors and glue to these special keepsakes. I scanned all of the images into the computer and generated high resolution prints of various sizes. The cathedrals were printed out in segments on heavyweight art paper, trimmed, painted and reassembled.
The primary design concept comes from the art and architecture depicted on the postcards: the brightly colored domes and patterns within patterns of the cathedrals, along with their luxurious furnishings; and the striking enamel and laquer work in which scenes of folk life rise in vivid colors from a black background, framed by swirls of clouds, snow, waves and floral motifs. The size and shape of the piece was dictated by its intended location in the clients’ home.
In the course of designing the collage, I supplemented the materials provided with additional views of the cathedrals and domes, the carpet at bottom left (cut from a magazine, scanned and reprinted so it would match the other papers), and several images from the art of Russian painter Marc Chagall. These include “The Violinist in Green” far left, and the peddler or wanderer “Over Vitebsk” at bottom. It so happens that my father’s family came from that same small town of Vitebsk where Chagall was raised.
Much inspiration came from my patrons themselves. Their input was invaluable in guiding me toward a final product which now seems inevitable, but which none of us could have envisioned beforehand. --ZLG