Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Louis Armstrong: Collage Artist

These wonderful collages were created by music legend Louis Armstrong, assembled from photographs of himself with friends and fans, congratulatory telegrams and clippings from reviews of his performances -- even from a blessing from the Vatican. The canvases are actually the boxes of Armstrong's extensive library of seven-inch reel to reel tapes, which he kept in a steamer trunk (along with two tape decks) so he could listen to music during the downtime spent in hotels and dressing rooms while touring (he was on the road over 300 days a year). Armstrong used various kinds of adhesive tape not only to attach the images to each box, but also as an element of the collage itself, to laminate, frame, or highlight elements in the piece. The result is a collection of over five hundred decorated boxes -- just over a thousand collages, since he used both sides of each box -- which is now at the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York. Read more about Armstrong's collages here. Via The Paris Review.


d i a n a m u s e said...

I didn't know this about my beloved Satchmo. This post is a revelation, Lori, as is your entire blog!

Lori Langille said...

Thanks so much, Diana! This was a big discovery for me, too -- I had no idea he did this. Actually, I'm still wondering how he found the time!


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