Decoding the Secrets of Michael Manning’s Collages
Michael Manning is an extraordinary artist who is revolutionizing the art world with his spectacular collages. Combining magazines and other media sources, Manning is able to create awe-inspiring works that explore the influence of images on our lives. Through his masterful composition skills, Manning creates stunning collage pieces that invite viewers to decode the secrets of his works. With his works, Michael Manning is redefining what it means to be an artist in the modern age.
“Clear Thinking” Collage by Michael Manning.
Completed in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, this collage depicts Michael’s prayer for peace for the mother of the deceased victim. MM picture caption: Growing up around people that looked nothing like me made me develop a deep appreciation for diversity and it’s role in modern society.
Michael Manning draws inspiration from various sources, including Barbara Kruger, Richard Hamilton, Salvadore Dali, and Jackson Pollock. His art expresses his appreciation for the impact of images on our lives. He also pays homage to other great artists by subtly referencing their work in his collages.
Manning’s creative process is focused on providing something to examine up close. Therefore, he seeks to craft works that reward scrutiny. In doing so, he distances himself from the piece as he creates it and then gets very close to it once it is completed. His collages have been most successful at live shows, as he encourages viewers to come back and explore the piece more deeply each time.
“Free Spirit” Collage by Michael Manning.
This collage on canvas is made up of entirely magazines and glue. Many hidden easter eggs make reference to Michael’s experience growing up black while also being a child of adopted in a family that identifies as white. Camouflage is used as a powerful manifestation of his unique African American experience.
After completing a Visual Communications program in college, Michael Manning was introduced to the collage world. In one lecture, his professor spoke of how information has become ubiquitous due to the Information Age and the drawbacks of the resulting Age of Clutter. This prompted him to collect magazines and extract images and text to create his collages.
By adopting this particular art form, he has been able to express his identity and work with symbols of contemporary life. With each new work, he expands his body of work with new ways of combining the pictures. His expert crafting of unrelated images in an imaginative and informative sequence excites and engages viewers, resulting in one enthralling spectacle after another.
Michael Manning’s collages express his thoughts and feelings about the world he lives in. The fragmented images composing each piece represent a more significant life narrative in the 21st century. As an artist, he is conscious of our age and how it is inundated with more images than we can possibly process. This is why Michael uses collage as his primary medium. It allows him to take all these images and arrange them in a meaningful way that captures the viewer’s attention. By taking control of the clutter, he has created a powerful commentary on the influence of images on our lives.
In addition to the influence of the Information Age, Michael draws from personal experience and memories when creating his art. He utilizes the magazine cutouts to build images that reflect what he has seen, heard, or felt throughout his life. This approach allows him to find beauty in everyday life and express it through his artwork.
Michael Manning’s creative process requires careful thought and consideration. First, he starts by drawing or projecting and tracing an image onto the canvas with a black marker. This creates a paint-by-numbers-style drawing that serves as the framework for his art.
Next, he spends a long time gathering and organizing magazine images and pictures he has taken himself. First, he organizes them into colors and patterns, which he uses to create a larger image. Then, he applies the pieces of paper to the canvas with glue sticks. This makes a colorful picture filled in but still needs essential details. Finally, he adds smaller images and details to complete the piece. He believes collage only works if the small images are curated into the larger image; otherwise, the message gets lost, and the artwork becomes overwhelming. With Manning’s creative process, each artwork is carefully composed to capture viewers’ attention and illustrate a story.
Michael Manning believes that our modern life can be seen as a collage. He is passionate about expressing his thoughts through collage, which he calls “Photoshop before Adobe” and “Social Media before Facebook.” He sees it as his legacy work and plans to continue exploring this medium for the rest of his life. Through his artwork, he has created an awe-inspiring way to express his ideas and capture viewers’ attention. By curating small images into a larger piece, he hopes to illustrate how our lives are composed of tiny interconnected moments that tell a larger story.