American Voyeur : Part 1 Fictionalized Portrait of a Montreal Artist

American Voyeur American Voyeur

I work best in the underground. Where everything is rotten, damp, and broken down. I’ve been told by friends and historians that only the purely demented enjoy living and working in their basement. I’m not a lunatic, just a little off-center. Everyone should be a little odd. Maybe I didn’t articulate it well, I’m an artist.

 

American Voyeur. Photo Nick Janke
I’m inundated with work this week, mostly not paying work, but that’s fine with me. I guess you could call me an independent contractor. If you’re from here you’ve probably seen my work. At the present time, I’m caught up in the incoherent art movement or the more popular names for this style — collage/ appropriation art, but I prefer calling it Discard art. Everything I use is cut and pasted from newspapers, mags, and ads all found in trash cans or on the street. I work in three stages.

American Voyeur. Photo Nick Janke
My bike is my transportation. I ride around all of Montreal in search of images/my inspirations. I never know what I’m on the search for until I see it. I can look at an image/piece of trash and know right away if it’ll fit into my piece. Once everything is collected, the second stage begins. That stage is best described as a self-controlled chaos. Completely immersed/ surrounded by scraps of paper that seemingly have no connection. My mind is always moving, thinking of the perfect partner for every image. Once all the pieces are placed and the work is done I stick it in my bag and ride. I never know exactly where I’m going to place my work, I just ride. Could ride around for a few minutes, could be a few hours, I won’t stop until I find the perfect resting place for my piece. Ride. Work. Ride. Those are the three stages of my life.

American Voyeur. Photo Nick Janke

I was once asked to describe my art, I remember word-for-word what I said to him, “It’s exaggerations in the first response of a vacant image with no apparent practices in a civil response to obedience. I prefer living in disobedience where no rules apply other than my own. My life, my work is ONLY about true independence. Things are cut and pasted together. The placement of the images, words, etc, is up to the moment, whatever space my mind is in at the time, or whatever my hands decide.” I tried to come up with an explanation as incoherent as I hope my art is.

American Voyeur. Photo Nick Janke
Now that you know how I work, it’s time to start stage one. I grab my bike and travel the city in search of inspiration. Not only am I on the look out for discarded items, I look to get inspired by the the natural scenes of the city. Whether it be a pile of bicycles, a street sign, a piece of paper with a word, or a pole featuring a well-known food item. Everything is an inspiration. But if I’m not paying attention I’ll miss something. Gotta go. To be continued.

To reach Nick, contact him at unspokentheory@yahoo.com

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