Art Instruction · Collage Art · Here, Read · Look Here

Look Here, Read: An intro to old-school, cut-and-paste photomontage

At one of the local Thrift Stores a few days ago, I came across a stack of back issues of The Photo from the 1980s. Although most of the information in The Photo is out of date for those of us who have embraced the digital age, I still managed to pick out five issues that had articles and other features of interest to me. In fact, the first issue I picked up, the one that was right at the top of the pile — The Photo #22 (1981) — included an article called “Simple Montages” that I thought would be perfect to share here on RCN. One thing I noticed right away about The Photo is that the magazine regularly featured articles about how to photograph the (female) nude, which very strongly indicated to me here in 2012 that the editors circa 1981 thought the magazine’s readership was mostly men! Another thing I noticed is that, although the covers of The Photo generally featured the usual shots of athletes in action, picturesque landscapes, wildlife hi-jinks, etc., every once in a while they would feature a subject that was a little more provocative. Think of it as “fan service” for photo buffs. Or casual sexism in the service of sales, if you prefer. Either way, enjoy!


Now I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a photograph, painting, drawing, etc., of a naked woman, or even just an image of a beautiful woman period, I wonder how much of my response to the image, if my response is positive, is due to the presence of the naked and/or beautiful woman and how much is due to the formal qualities of the image…

Could a magazine sold in drugstores in 2012 get away with a cover image like the one featured on the front of The Photo #19 back in 1981? Somehow I doubt it…

3 thoughts on “Look Here, Read: An intro to old-school, cut-and-paste photomontage

  1. I’m a sucker too for a picture of a beautiful woman, naked or otherwise… I guess you could still find a cover like that in the racks if the nudity is hidden by the magazine on the shelf below it… That picture reminds me of a cover the San-Antonio novel “Chauds, les lapis”…


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