Deanna Williamson, Erthling, mixed media, 11 x 8.5,
Deanna Williamson, Erthling, mixed media, 11 x 8.5

An artwork that has been created by transforming or recycling an existing art work is called altered art. This can also involve the alteration of ordinary objects such as game boards, books, and toys, etc.  Erthling is an altered photograph.

My process for altering a photograph is to glue it into a sketch book and transform it with paint media and collage elements to create a different and interesting new work.

The photo for Erthling was of an abandoned car sitting in an overgrown drive-in movie parking lot. I used paint to turn the sky from day to night, the parking lot from grass to pavement and made the car pink.  I also painted in details like the fence and the people inside the car, and then collaged in the blue sky on the screen and purple flying saucer (which was actually a ceiling from an old building cut from another photo.) I added the saucer on the screen and the vanity tag with colored pencils and markers.  I also used paint to extend the photo beyond it’s edges so it would fill the page.

Artists have incorporated photos into their work since Picasso (or Braque – no one knows for sure which) invented collage. The legal term for incorporating other people’s work into your own is called Fair Use. Since my photo for Erthling came from an old magazine I decided to review the subject before displaying this and the next couple of items on the blog. From what I gathered, this work is okay to show because (a) it is transformed enough to be a new artwork and (b) it’s not for sale.

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