Think these pieces were made from pencil, pen or paint? Think again. Artist Matthew Cusick cuts away pieces on maps, atlases, encyclopedias and school textbooks, to create crazy collages that look like drawings or paintings. “I like to catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it,” he says.
Look closely to see how Cusick flips around road, river and transit lines, piecing them together to form everything from portraits to landscapes. While Cusick sometimes adds paint (like acrylic) to these pieces, by and large, the colors are taken from the maps’ topography.
“Maps have played an important role in my work since 2001,” Cusick said. “I began using maps as a surrogate for paint and as a way to illuminate the sociopolitical history of my subject matter. I found that with maps I could create conceptual mosaics that integrated mythology with territory by rendering my subjects with the authentic relics of their own timeline. Also, much like an old photograph, a map imparts a visual portal into the past, preserving the manifestation of existence.“