Collecting Eras- Artist Series: Blake Kirpes

Collecting Eras- Artist Series: Blake Kirpes

Seattle based artist, Blake Kirpes, collects the old and transforms it into the new by creating imagery that represents social constructs of today through enticing his audience with bold cut-outs of past generations.

Though the artist believes that it is down to the individual to judge the pieces and create their own meanings for the collages, Blake shares with Reflexive the process behind his designs and what his source of inspiration is for the thought-provoking concepts.

"I am inspired by images that are not of this time, and to me, that helps to disassociate the images from their origin. I like the idea that people cannot place where a particular image came from, or how much of the original image was used; this is why I also try to avoid using images of famous actors, movie scenes, models, etc. There are great artists using modern images out there, but for me, at least for now, I enjoy using images that lack modern association.

I am also inspired by the unique colours, printing styles, and images produced during the "Golden Era of Advertising." Long before I started creating art, I would save and collect vintage images (thousands of them), for no reason other than for my enjoyment. Once I saw artists using similar images to create their art, that was when an idea sparked, "Maybe I could do this?".

For digital images, Tumblr is the single greatest resource I have found; there are amazing curators who have entire blogs dedicated to vintage advertising, pornography, family pictures, modelling, etc. 

Without a doubt the artist who initially inspired me was Eugenia Loli, it was in her collages I first started seeing pieces of vintage images that I had been collecting for fun. I was able to talk with her when I first started making collage art and she gave me some great pointers that I still use to this day."

A Family Affair

"The parts of ourselves we only show families and loved ones". Behind closed doors, there are parts of one's self that only loved ones ever gain access to. The extent of mystery taken away from a person's character signifies the depth of the relationship.

American Beauty

Everybody wants to break America. American beauty is far beyond supermodels and beauty pageants.

Everybody Wants A Piece

"Society not only objectifies women but parts of women; we don't even need the whole body to objectify, just a piece".

The Revolution Will Be Computerized

The future is female. "Inspired by the women who are revolutionizing tech, science, politics". 

True Affection

Beauty is not only skin deep. "As humans, we explore each other from the outside at first, and then internally". 

 You Gotta Crack Some Eggs To Make An Omelette

"How failed and broken relationships can help us grow".

Blake's artwork has gone from strength to strength with his growing following on social media platforms and with that, a demand for artwork merchandise, which is now available at society6 (link below). So what does the future hold for the up and coming artist?   

"My goal for the near future is to keep creating, but outside of the art itself, I have begun working with writers and musicians to create images that accompany their art. I recently did a collection of three pieces for an article in Amuse/Vice, and that was exciting. I also spent nine years of my career as Music Supervisor, so I would love to work on vinyl packaging for bands."

Visit Blake's Instagram, Tumblr and Ello accounts for new artwork and regular updates.

Want to buy any of the artwork shown here? His merchandise is available here.

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