Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.
My name is Jason but I practice under the moniker Nil Ultra. Originally I’m from Arizona and currently reside in Los Angeles where I’ve been for most of the last decade.
Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?
I’m working on a collaboration series with Australian collage artist Nikolaus Dolman that is primarily focused on the excessiveness of consumer culture.
What kind of things influence your work?
Current events that can be referenced with vintage materials. Especially the never-ending bullshit with religion, war, and struggle of the LGBT community. If the world was a better place, I’m not sure I’d have anything to get out of my system.
Legends such as John Stezaker, Gee Vaucher, Barbara Kruger, Steven Parrino, and Robert Motherwell are obvious influences and always will be. There are also so many modern collage artists using analog techniques such as Mr. Babies, Yorch Miranda, and the whole damn Brooklyn Collage Collective that always keep me pumped and inspired. I’d be a dick not to mention Cleon Peterson- who has been a great mentor in discipline, technique, and execution. Also Mark Whalen, Sterling Bartlett, Hannah Stouffer, Brendan Donnelly, Dave Frey (thepaperagency.com), my old lady Ashley, and my mom.
How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)
Most of the time I have an idea that requires some scouring and hours of page flipping to find the right pieces and parts that match up. A good example would be a piece I did titled “Magic Banana” that had me searching for a banana to replace the gun in Jack Ruby’s hand as he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. This actually took almost a year to put together as I needed the banana to be just the right size and color as well as being printed prior to the month of July 1978- the rule I have applied to all of my work. I settled on a plantain from a vintage magazine my girlfriend brought back from Argentina.
I use fresh X-Acto #11 blades on every piece I cut and rubber cement to affix. Scraps go in the trash where they belong.
What is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?
Latest discovery? I suppose it would be the community of analog collage artists. It’s nice to see collagists that don’t use the computer and seek out a message or joke to tell through physical resources. I’m especially fond of artists using vintage and antique materials as it’s too easy to make jokes or commentary with modern images. I like the struggle and I like to see it in others’ work.
Advice? Be patient and invest in a good scanner.
What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?
Fortunately the work probably answers any questions one may have and aside from sharing a potential idea with a fellow creative, I don’t talk about it too often. When I’m not working on art I’m probably watching a shitty American film or some obscure foreign flick that takes a bunch of effort to find. If anyone wants to trade me a multi-region Blu-ray/DVD player for some art- hit me up!
Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.