I DON’T WANNA BE FAMOUS!

An exhibition by

KARA BIEBER

Vibrant, bold and joyful – we are thrilled to present this exhibition that celebrates the vivacious and intriguing work of photographer and collage artist, Kara Bieber (b. 1986).

The exhibition features seventeen of Kara’s collages, which depict juxtaposing scenes of natural textures and landscapes, against cut-outs of luxury jewels, glamorous women and cosmopolitan objects. Many worlds are brought together into a single picture, forming a culture clash, between old and new, glossy and abstract. Yet, visually Kara’s work is not one of discord, but of joyous colour, bright energy and positive hope for the new season.

Based in London but with Italian roots, Kara’s work explores global glamour, fantasy and realism. Kara was brought up in Sussex to a photographer mother, she had her first show at just 12 years of age, and by 19 Kara was named Woman Photographer of the Year at the Venice International Photographic Competition in 2005. Kara also won a Portrait Prize at the same show.

Collage for Kara is a relatively new artistic process, discovered literally at the kitchen table: “I was in my kitchen and I caught sight of a magazine. I was drawn to the design and the colour, so I just started cutting it up and producing new art.”

Attracted by the freedom of collage to experiment, Kara starts with one image which leads to the boundless possibilities of others to achieve the final piece. The process itself is physical and through the act of cutting raw material Kara releases her imagination and is guided, unfettered, by her intuition. This practice renders Kara’s work rather unique in today’s world, where many artistic photomontage processes are driven via digital means.  Since Kara started her collage work, she’s barely been able to stop.

The practice of collage and photomontage is rooted in artistic practice of the early 20th Century, most notably it was pursued by the radical movements of Dada in 1915 and the Surrealists of the 1920s. The latter used the possibilities of the technique to bring together widely unrelated images to mirror the workings of the unconscious mind. In a similar vein Kara is curating her visual language by ‘chance’. In 2013 for an exhibition at the Loughran Gallery, Kara described her approach as: “a very spontaneous process that gives the works a humour and freshness. I don’t plan or stick to any rules, so what I come up with is always unexpected.”

Kara’s collages can also be set within the context of British Pop Art. Richard Hamilton’s seminal collage of 1956, entitled ‘Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?’, instantly springs to mind when looking at Kara’s work; also, the innovative album covers of Peter Blake, especially the co-created sleeve design for the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Both these artists, alongside Eduardo Paolozzi, were revolutionary for their time in the mid-1950s. Not only did they appropriate the ‘everyday’ image, cutting-out images from magazines, looking at Hollywood movies and other consumer culture (such as new pop music) that enveloped post war Britain, but they also contributed towards shaking up the Establishment, changing preconceived traditional views of what was deemed to be ‘art.’

In some respects, Kara is continuing this visual conversation, but in a very 21st Century way. Her visual language is a clever and playful contrast of her re-appropriated images. From the ‘famous’ to the mundane, together with displaced cut-outs of iconic artworks and text, Kara’s montages can be seen as re-arrangements of the ‘everyday’. It is conceivable to draw parallels with our own experience of 21st Century ‘popular’ culture: a visual bombardment of rapidly changing multi-media imagery and soundbites. Yet, Kara’s compositions offer a captivating and colourful alternative to an often perplexing and contradictory visual world, imbued with wit and freedom to have fun.

Prices for limited edition prints range from £450 to £2,200 and are available in a choice of frames.

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