Creating a collage allows an artist to recontextualize something—to give it new meaning beyond its original intent. Artist Shane Wheatcroft blends and rearranges vintage advertisements and editorial spreads into new and often more mysterious meanings. Some of his most striking pieces fuse portraiture with seemingly disparate symbols of interior spaces, home goods, and beyond. The results are an alluring combination of the past from a contemporary point of view, remixed with surrealism in mind.
Wheatcroft’s collages offer a look inside the psyche of the people he portrays. In many of these images, the hair and attire of the person are kept intact; it’s the facial features that have been replaced by the imagery of someone turning on a television or waiting to serve a cup of tea. Each set of cutouts is different, but there is a constant throughout. One eye of the person he’s depicting always remains, telling the viewer that we’re looking into the mind’s eye of the character.
Steeped in symbolism, there are multiple ways to read one of Wheatcroft’s collages. He does, however, offer some insight into the meaning behind a recent favorite of his titled Time is Waiting in the Wings. “This piece is about the aging process,” he tells My Modern Met, “when you still feel 18, but you look in the mirror and see that you're not anymore, and wondering where the time went. It's loosely inspired by the song ‘Time' by David Bowie. A lot of my ideas are triggered by music and lyrics, especially Bowie as I've listened to him pretty much non-stop since I was a kid.”
Scroll down for more of Wheatcroft’s works. You can purchase his collages on Artfinder.