Carleton Wing is a self-taught collage and assemblage artist.
“I have always been intrigued by surrealism. It fascinates me to tell a story using metaphorical terms. My fascination led me to express myself through these terms. As an introvert, I discovered I could express my thoughts with minimal risk and almost in secret. I start with an image then combine it with another image to create a new notion or idea. The new notion makes viewers think about what they see in a more complex yet subtle way. It creates a new meaning. Hence my statement “I believe we rarely learn anything new. Rather, we simply re-arrange what is already familiar to us and come to a new understanding.” I remove familiar images and objects from their original context and re-arrange them to form a new notion or idea. I have been telling stories with surreal imagery for 40 years.”- Carleton Wing
Carleton Wing spent the first years of collage-building discovering what he was thinking about, mostly social issues like war, religion, political situations, and gender-related issues. He used images from good quality magazines and an Exacto blade to do this.
In 2006, he began experimenting with digital collage. Carleton found it very satisfying and challenging in a different way from found-image paper collage. Digital work allowed him to be a lot more creative in his story-telling, as well as in the artistic presentation of composition, color and texture. He can color black and white images by hand (mouse) in the style of vintage postcards. Creating digital files allows him to have his art printed professionally on archival paper with archival ink.
“I see my work as coming from what I call “The Near Side” – That place that is just beyond the edge of what we find familiar. These surreal short stories are created with images from my own flea market photo collection, as well as from digital sources. My goal is to engage the viewer with stories of humor, satire and social comment.” -Carleton Wing