Mansa K. Mussa

Mansa K. Mussa

Pieces of a Dream

     The name of my body of collage art, Pieces Of A Dream, comes from the title cut of the great jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine’s masterful 1974 album of the same name. Composed by Michel Legrand, with lush string arrangements by Gene Page, Pieces Of A Dream was one of my favorite go-to albums during my days as a DJ at WJCS radio station at Jersey City State College back in the late 70s.

     Collage is a medium that can be used to extraordinary effect by the novice or the master. It is a versatile form of art that can be produced in one- dimensional form, as shadow boxes, frozen tableaux, masks, book arts, or assemblages.

     When I was a child, I started using magazine photographs to create collages. Over the years, as I developed my skills as a photographer, I began to use my photographs to illustrate my collages, manipulating the images and bestowing them with added layers of meaning and purpose.

     The collage techniques I employ include traditional cut and paste and mixed media forms that are suffused with vibrant colors. This style utilizes a field of color over which I apply dominant figures, and then apply layers of secondary figures juxtaposed with small figures and objects. These creative impulses are translated into a series of frozen tableaus that have the power to alter time to release light and energy, to suspend motion, and to redefine space.

     My dreams are populated by dancers, and the music they usually perform to is “This Music We Call Jazz.” And that is what I feel collages are. They are fragments of our dreams that we piece together while conscious to create a whole new form of art.

     Cut, tear, arrange, re-arrange, and adhere, and voila! You have the Pieces Of A Dream…

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