Collage may be simply defined as artwork that is composed of a variety of materials, often involve attaching found objects, cloth, or paper torn or cut from ephemera such as manuscripts, newspapers, magazines, even photos, to a canvas or board in an artful composition. When a collage is solely composed of photos it is called a photomontage.
Collage forces you to think and clarify ideas, with regard to both space and volumes. This discipline obliges me to think in terms of forms, outlines, and imagined spaces, so as not to fall into the temptation of thinking that nature is a reality.”– Conrad Marca-Relli, American Painter and Sculptor, 1913-2000
Drawing with scissors: To cut to the quick in color reminds me of the direct cutting of sculptors.”– Matisse, French Painter, Draftsman, and Collagist, 1869-1954
Cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso rocked the fine-art establishment by incorporating newsprint and wallpaper scraps into their paintings, combining painting and ephemera into a single work.
On their website, TheArtStory.org explains the history of collage and its significance to the of fine-art world:
Collage directly questions the tendency to separate fine art from everyday objects, the delineations between so-called high and low culture, and the status of the artist.”
Adopted by subsequent artists, collage became a dominant technique in the Dada, Surrealist, Pop Art, and Neo-Dada movements, each using the technique to explore different subject matters. Because collage often incorporates mass-produced images, the practice is often inseparable from its historical and political context, making it a mode of powerful social commentary. Contemporary artists continue to explore the richness of collage in their efforts to question assumptions, biases, and pressing political crises.”– The ArtStory.org