From the artist's website: The "boxes" have appeared relatively late in my work as a painter, as a natural and necessary, and have become an integral part, his double play. As a reminiscence of my desire to teenage drama, and perhaps even the deepest yet my memories, of childhood games pitched battles between miniature electric trains and installed under the table in the family dining room . These "boxes" at the beginning of their manufacture in the years 92 - 93, repeated the themes of my paintings: the brainwashing scene, visit the mummies, agitation transfusions and various larvae
"I wanted to build a piece that resembled a core sample of a city street. As though you took a street, dug it up, and lifted it straight off the earth. "Canal St. Cross-Section" is a combination of five major pieces built into one box. There's a street scene on the top with a subway entrance on the corner. Looking down into the subway entrance, you are led to the two subterranean levels of the piece, both of which have intersecting cross views visible through the small windows on the sides of the piece."
Wagnalls Wheel, 2010, Altered Set of Encyclopedias, 9" x 20-1/2" x 20-1/2" - Image Courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Tourell Fine Art
Explanation of Process (from the artist's site)
"In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception." Brian Dettmer
Mat Collishaw's art melds antique curiosities with glossy modern methods. Computer-generated wisps condense into faces of female hysteria. Powered-up carousels throw cherubs into high-tech spins of rebellion