Drawing, Slicing, Reassembling: Daniel Voelker’s Collage Art

Seattle-based abstract artist Daniel Voelker is known for his captivating collages using his own source material of automatic charcoal and marker drawings, monoprints, and paint. Letting the materials themselves guide him, his work has a dynamic quality to it.

A Washington native, Voelker’s formal education includes the University of Washington and the Atelier Program at Gage Academy of Art; but according to Voelker, the real evolution has happened over 20 something years in the studio.

Indeed, there’s a great deal of experimentation in his work. Each piece begins with several charcoal drawings on paper. The material found in each collage comes from these drawings, which are sliced up and reassembled in a new way. This process of cutting and assembling is very much intuitive, with no plan or sketch beforehand.

“I’m interested in manipulating the relationship of tone, line and shape in my work,” writes Voelker on his website. “I create depth and form new connections through the collage process, which oscillates between quick improvisational moves and carefully planned revisions.”

The end result contains many layers and often hides within it faces and figures (look closely and you might just decipher them). Though his work is abstract, it tends to echo the world around him.

“I’m inspired by graffiti, urban decay, and music,” says Voelker. “I experiment with my source material and media to push the edges in the creation of my work. I feel like my job is to pull something out of nothing and convey it to the world.” Still, the final piece is open to interpretation.