Tori Vintzel is a collage and mixed media artist. We had he priviledge of peeking into her mind to learn about her masterpieces.
This was my first attempt at experimenting with collaging. I had been interested in collaging for a while at this point, and after finding a couple of cheap children’s books and receiving a large basket of embroidery thread, I thought I’d give it a go. [The inspiration for using embroidery thread came from an image I had seen recently of a photograph with a woman holding an umbrella that an artist had stitched blue thread into to look like rain.] The strings connect the woman’s hands to the most important part of the birds: their heads and their wings. Although I wanted to leave this one up to interpretation, I like to think this collage speaks about the will of a person and the unique ability we have to use our hands for good or for bad. One might look at this collage and think the woman is trapping the birds; another might think she is gently guiding the birds to where they need to go; still another might see the birds as a metaphor for the woman’s dreams and the strings attached to them as her success in reaching those dreams. That’s what I like about collaging and art in general – I have the freedom to create something out of anything and the viewer has the personal freedom to interpret it however he or she wants to.
A Child’s Perspective
In this collage, I wanted to experiment with the idea of taking things that already exist and putting them together to create a new reality. Often when we get older, we find ourselves getting caught up in the rush of everyday life and taking less time to stop and appreciate our surroundings. I wanted to reflect this idea into the collage by purposely choosing exclusively black and white subject matter. The only colors in this collage are the ones backing the child and the zebra he notices. The colors and the floating zebras are an indication of the child’s imagination; he has not been limited to a dull black and white reality, but instead he is free to create a colorful and imaginative reality for himself. Hopefully we can be more like the child and remember to make the reality we do have a little more fun and bright in our own ways.
This collage is from a small journal I’ve been working on this year. The purpose of the journal is to allow me to feel free to experiment with different styles and techniques without the added pressure of my art having to meet some sort of standard I set for myself. This frees up my brain to try new things and come up with strange ideas that are potentially out of my comfort zone. I’ve been a huge fan of yellow recently so I’ve incorporated as much of it as possible into my work because it makes me happy. I wanted to create a feeling of depth with the strings, which are interconnecting the people in the collage with some sort of new dimension. The main spectator is gazing into the dimensions above him: first earth, then sky, then space. The strings running through each dimension and off the page on both sides of the collage invite the viewer to wonder about and explore the new dimensions that could come after those we are already familiar with.
I love the idea of hands and the power they possess, and I think that’s a common theme in a lot of my work. One inspiration for this work was the Fates from Greek Mythology. Each person’s life was represented by a single thread, and when it was time for that person to die, the Fates would cut the thread. In that respect, the strings could represent the fragility of life, the color red symbolizing blood because blood is often paralleled to human life. Another interpretation is that each hand could belong to a different person, and the strings represent the bonds between them.