Interview: Anthony Zinonos
First the traditional introduction – can you tell us who are you, where are you coming from, what are you doing?
Anthony Zinonos born in South Africa, brought up in Cyprus, educated in the U.K and now living in Oakland USA. I’m a collage artist that also works as an illustrator.
So, why collages? How did you started to do them? What was the first thing that caught your attention and made you want to try it out yourself?
I got obsessed with magazines at an early age, my drawing skills were pretty poor so I would get frustrated trying to draw the images that floated around in my head, it was much easier to piece these images together using the found imagery from the magazines, the possibilities were endless and very exciting.
Your super minimalistic style is highly recognizable, how quickly you found your own style? Have you tried more complex stuff before this?
I used to make collages which were messier and had more elements then I saw a exhibition of John Stezaker back when I was in art school and his work blew my mind, it was simple yet so complex using just two elements to create a collage. I loved the restriction of using as few elements as possible to create an image and tell a story.
In your works you brilliantly play with plain shapes and solid colours to create the actual story – which speaks to you more, shapes or colors?
Both, they are equally as important.
As a collagist myself, I have noticed that less the pieces I have, the “better” or significant they have to be – When do you start to work, how do you approach your subject? How critical you’re what comes to selecting the elements?
I spend most of my time looking through books and magazines waiting for an image to grab my attention, then once I’ve decided on how to cut it out I’ll spend a long time moving it around with other elements till i find a balance and everything fits into its place.
Like said, your style is very minimalistic and there are not that many pieces in puzzle, so how easy or hard is to finish your works?
For me less is definitely more and ‘blank’ space is as important as the images and elements I’m using. Some days work comes easily other days it feels like I’m wrestling with pieces of paper and they kick my ass.
What are the best and worst things in collaging?
Best is definitely meeting talented artist and geeking out about books, magazines, glue and scissors. Worst would probably be seeing too much thoughtless, soulless collage work online that all looks the same 🙁
What inspires you or your work?
Nature, being outdoors in the sun, surrounded by interesting people, basically everything that surrounds us is inspiring you just have to stop look and listen.
Beside creating a great line of beautiful art works and then showcasing them in numerous exhibitions, you have done bunch of commercial illustrations, what would be the ultimate commercial dream project?
I’d love to work on more animation projects… basically just more excuses to make work for people who appreciate my style and aethetic. It’s still such an honour for someone who sees something special in your work and wants to pay you to create more.
What keeps you collaging? What excites you about it?
I still find new challenges with the medium, im always excited to discover
new materials and ways of playing with paper but most importantly it makes
If you should describe your art with one word, what would it be?