In the thick of a digital world, Peruvian artist Kike Congrains embraces old school tools like paper, glue and scissors to depict pop culture icons, kitsch designs and of course, cats.
Because of its low cost, malleability and ease, collage is certainly one of the most widespread techniques in the world of art. Whether we’re artistically inclined or not, it’s highly probable that we’ve all dabbled in the practice at some point of our lives.
Kindergarten children rendering playful animals, teenagers pasting together photos of celebrities they love, or the creative psychopath that plasters his room with newspaper clippings, collage is certainly a joyous activity for everyone.
Although the practice is as old as paper itself, the term collage, from the French coller, “to glue”, was only coined in the early 20th century, when Braque and Picasso irrupted into the art scene with their groundbreaking unorthodox approach.
Congrains cuts out old LIFE Magazines from the ’50s and ’60s and contrasts these vintage black and white photographs with colourful designs made of canson brand paper.
Throughout his entire career he has steered away from digital tools, adopting traditional materials that, although some might find outdated and redundant, inevitably give his work a very distinctive feel.
Although his work is a far cry from the elaborate pieces made by the masters of the technique like Juan Gris, Jean Metzinger or Picasso, Congrains pieces are whimsical, attractive and ironic.
The Latin American artist chose collage as his preferred technique because of its lack of limitations and strict rules.
“Everybody has the faculty to create collage. With practice you can surely perfect your technique, but I don’t think there’s such thing as a “bad” collage,” said Congrains. “It’s a free and happy world”.