The primary expressive media of New York based artist Chamblis Giobbi are sculpture and photographic collages. He is a self-taught artist with a long history of creating collages and who had chosen the path of visual arts after a fifteen-year career as a composer of Late-Romantic classical music. His adoption of the concept of (passing of) time and simultaneity in the development of musical ideas was to become an integral part of his artistic endeavours.
The Portraits collected under the title Figure are handmade, contextually complex and emotionally charged surrealistic collages, which reside on the border between the bizarre, absurd, occasionally obscene and the humorous/funny.
The process of creating a collage may take as long as a few months and begins with photography. In a continual marathon photo session, the artist takes thousands of photos and during this process, literally strips the subject nude. When creating portraits his focus is mainly drawn to the photographed individual’s expressions; the intense density of photographing is vital, as it allows the palette of various expressions to manifest. The artist prints up 15,000 photographs from which he extracts individual details and then sticks them together piece by piece and layer by layer, creating an entirely new unity. The author calls them pictures, for he understands a photo collage as a less complex form. Additionally, the multi-layered surface of the collage resembles the application of paint on a canvas.
The artist usually begins layering a portrait inside out, from the centre of gravitation, which attributes his pictures with a sense of having a spiral form, of being in constant motion and of incompleteness. His models are charismatic eccentrics from the very edge of society, freaks and extravagant individuals. He is interested his subjects’ physical appearance in all his or her visual and emotional features combined in a single image. In this respect, his art somewhat resembles cubist renderings of form/object in time (from numerous standpoints simultaneously). It concerns decomposition, deconstruction into individual parts, which are then reconstructed – arranging the existent into an entirely new image. Although the photograph represents the basis of all his collages, the result is never a realistic portrait, but rather a metamorphosis of various details and (body) parts, expressions and ideas, as envisioned by the artists.