German-born collage artist Thomas Spieler creates intriguing multimedia works that play with the dualism that exists between the human and natural worlds. Spieler juxtaposes vintage black-and-white photographs of human figures with brightly colored photographs of more abstract forms. Many of the black-and-white photos look like they could be ads or pictures of movie stars lifted from old magazines, while others appear to be photographs of classical sculptures from antiquity. Meanwhile, the colorful photos are of objects found in nature, such as minerals, geological formations, butterfly wings and flower petals.
The photos of natural objects often conceal the faces of the human figures, while at the same time bringing color and life to what might otherwise feel like a dead scene. The enduring dominance of the natural world thus serves as a reminder of the brevity of existence, while the very playfulness of Spieler’s collages instructs us to enjoy it while it lasts.