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A solid page of text can be dry to look at. However, after Toon Joosen has added his touch, words can take on a whole new life. The Dutch artist merges magazine cutouts of people with book pages to create clever collages where figures playfully interact with text.
From sweeping up words with a broom to catching the perfect sentence with a fishing pole, Joosen finds a myriad of ways to create relationships between people and language. “My collages often consist of two images out of vintage magazines that together give an alienating and often funny effect,” he tells My Modern Met. “Sometimes images are waiting months before I find a perfect match.”
Each of these pieces begins on a sheet taken from a book. Joosen will then cut out parts of the paper or add to it as necessary to create a shape within the body of the text. Afterward, people are added to the composition and carefully placed to make it look like they are involved with the words in some way. In one example, a pair of children carry an umbrella to block out the rainstorm of falling letters, and in another young boy sits atop a large pile of words that were collected from the page spread.
You can purchase prints of Joosen's artwork via his Etsy shop, and keep up to date with his latest work by following the artist on Instagram.
Netherlands-based artist Toon Joosen creates playful collages.
Images of people and objects are cut out of magazines and added to pages of text.
Joosen arranges the people to playfully interact with the words on the paper.
Some are seen sweeping the text away; meanwhile, some others travel through a sea of written words with a boat, as if the paragraphs are a body of water.
Each collage is its own creative reimagining of vintage media.
A page is not just a page through Joosen’s perspective. It’s the artist’s visual playground.