Writer, illustrator, collagist, and all-around witty contributor Margaret Finan pulled out all the stops for her Brief Encounters column in Issue 31: Quality/Quantity.

Finan’s take on the theme brings us to the world of magazines (a familiar territory here), specifically the feminist/post-feminist/post-post-feminist/pre-post-feminist/pre-pre-post-feme-yougettheidea genre.

Hey Girl magazine is her ode to all the editors and writers, most of whom are professional, pre-millennial women, who are getting feminism wrong in their female-empowered publications. She uses flippant language that imposes a routine belittlement and self-degradation on readers who are looking for everything from makeup tips to workplace ambition to dating tutorials. Her headlines work beautifully, not only for laughs but for the truth in their editors’ ignorance. You’ll wonder if these headlines are jokes or not.

Finan’s collage work is also telling, hitting a perfect note on the ongoing (and likely always-to-be ongoing) Photoshop debate. Why even use real models, one could ask, if photos of real women are going to be distorted to the point of disbelief. The quality of body image is subjective, of course, but you wouldn’t know that based on how the ideal is being sold to the masses.

Pictured above are five of Finan’s drafts for what ultimately made it to the page. Each one captures elements on this dialogue in entertaining and intellectual ways. Great work, Margaret!

-Ben

Guggenheim, 2010 Cabs - Aerial View, 2011 Water Tower Skyline, 2012 Brooklyn Bridge, 2011 Statue of Liberty, 2011 James Dean, 2011 Five Boroughs, 2011

It’s near impossible to navigate New York City without one or two or three of the city’s bright yellow metro cards. Everyone’s got one, and everyone’s lost one. WIth that in mind, New York artist Nina Boesch has re-imagined the New York landscape using only discarded metrocards, chopping up the cards to best utilize their limited color palettes (yellow, blue, black and white) for her metrocard collages. Between the cityscape perspectives and some pitch perfect recreations of iconic New York faces, Boesch is on a roll with an incredible effort of artistic reuse.

- Maggie

On the market since November, iPad app Mixel asks that you please do touch the art. In fact, it’s this precise ideology that separates Mixel from the rest of the collage app crowd, as every finished Mixel creation is available publicly, free to be remixed, rematched, and shared all over again. 

Pinterest hosts several boards for Mixel user bragging rights and features a fun “Where I Live” Challenge - looks like there’s plenty of room for some Buffalo mashup Mixel art.

- Maggie