Jeff L. Battis
COLLAGE & MIXED MEDIA ARTIST
Inspired by the dadaists, especially Max Ernst, I started creating rudimentary collages for zines I was making in the late seventies. Very quickly. However, the visual content superceded the textual, and the zines became exhibits of my work: collages containing a strong textual element. I have recently been producing textless collages, but the intertwining of the two remains my priority.
My work is entirely analog, even the text, which is either dry transfer lettering or a found element. I work almost exclusively in black and white. Any color in the original collage is always removed when I reproduce it.
I tend to create collages with my zine format in mind, thus much of what I have done has been restricted in size and is often a meta-commentary on the format itself. In the last few years, though, I have been creating larger-scale collages, and even allowing them to explode beyond the boundaries of the page.
I feel that all art, no matter the medium, is at its core a distillation of its creator’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. My best work, I find, coalesces into being with very little interference on my part. I allow the elements in front of me to create their own logic (which is, of course, my logic), and to lead me somewhere, rather than the other way around. I feel I am not entirely serious about anything, and hope that this is glaringly obvious in my work. I am mystified—and possibly even astounded—when someone finds anything I have created offensive. Yes, whatever darkness one finds is my own; however, the frivolity is equally mine.
I tend to be creative in spurts—of weeks, months... even years. After some time away from the scissors and glue stick, I feel I have regained that expressiveness, and have never felt more positive about my work.