Remix (December 2015, Vol. 16, No. 12) February 2020 

The Oprah Magazine Remix Challenge Commentary- Critique:

On the technical side, the magazine paper was not easy to cut or paste. Despite this problem, the magazine surprisingly produced 14 collages. Visual interest, composition, style, and color combinations are notable in some of the collages. Also, Christmas magazine issues like Oprah's can be tricky as almost every image has some sort of decorative or kitschy embellishment on it. The magazine was chock full of Oprah's Favorite Things! 

 

The collages are ordered from my personal - most liked to least liked (from Left to Right). Lets discuss the notable top three. This cool collage with the flesh tones, the brilliant reds contrasting with the minimal baby blues,( if you squint your eyes) mimics a Picasso like palate. The overall composition is abstract, but with enough information to inform us of the subject matter. The shapes, form and color work together to create a sensibility that is somewhat erotic, but also in harmony. The second 2015 snow globe illusion has a fractured head and has hints of Oprah's Christmas theme within it. The collage is also nuanced and suggestive of the fragile human spirit akin to the fragile glass snow globe. The blue background helps to punch out the circular motif. Thirdly, the Ryan Gosling spicy, bold and sweet collage has a tongue and cheeky feeling of a B rated film poster of yesteryear. The youngish boy toy actor as the ultimate desirable accoutrement of the aging rich and famous. The slogans which would normally describe food has been used effectively as a play on words; conveying the women's feelings on dating younger men. The black and white images of the iconic women's gaze offers a voyeuristic view point. In addition, Ryan's poker face ploughs through the morass, looking straight at the viewer; only to leave you wondering, What is Ryan really thinking (about all this)? The black and white images juxtaposed against the color image suggests a nod to a bygone era contrasting with the present time. It is one of my favorites in this series. The others that made the grade also have positive traits and narratives that helped propel them above the line. Let's move on to the less desirable ones.

 

The more collages you make, the easier it is to intuitively distinguish between those that have a genuine vibe going on from those 'others' that are just faking it.  These collages were either too cutesy, quirky or awkward. However you want to call it, they all failed to hit their stride. For example, Oprah, as Barbie and her Barbie side kicks, wrapped up in mom's home baked cherry pie is as kitsch as you can get. As well, the multiple hands motif is an interesting  and clever concept, but difficult to pull off. This one feels creepy disguised as quirky. It will be a reminder of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thirdly, you can't deny, the "Here we go!" kid and his dressed to the nines bullish dog who just won best dressed at the local LGBTQ dog & pony show is a cute idea, but the collage is arranged in just a tad too predictable of a manner.  Lastly, the woman showing four fingers and the stack of Barbie's in a bowl makes me want to vomit. Perhaps it's the flesh colored balloons in the fore ground, or that the fourth Barbie has Oprah's face on it. I need a seltzer! The others are less notable jumbles. Folks, that's what happens when you try to produce quantity over quality!