The BCC presents a new series of interviews with ground breaking collage artists from around the world, with your collage guide and founder of the Brooklyn Collage Collective, Morgan Jesse Lappin.

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 Monday - SEPTEMBER 9th // Interview with Jesse Treece


Collage Artist / Jesse Treece (Seattle, Washington)

Collage Artist / Jesse Treece (Seattle, Washington)


Interrupting My Train of Thought (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Interrupting My Train of Thought (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

MJL: What led you to your first collage piece, and where were you in life at that time, why collage? Your work shows epic depth, allowing people to visually enter your work. What do the worlds and characters mean to you if they have any meaning at all.

Jesse Treece: When I made my first piece in 2009, I think I was feeling frustrated creatively and casting around for an outlet. I grew up drawing and started playing music and trying to write songs in high school but I never felt able to complete anything or really dive in though I knew I had talent. I honestly don't know why I chose collage specifically, it's more like it found me I guess and it seemed to fit like a glove once I finished my first piece. It wasn't a great collage but I knew that I had it in me to try and do better and I felt motivated like I hadn't felt before.

I've always been drawn to art (visual art, music, movies, etc.) that convey moodiness and atmosphere, it's just part of my makeup I think. Also around that time I was really discovering surrealism for the first time (specifically painters like Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, Edgar Ende, Giorgi de Chirico) and I loved the sparse moody landscapes that felt right out of a dream and told a story, though it was one that was open to individual interpretation.

When I'm really feeling it it's like I'm not thinking at all. My hands find the right pieces on there own and when it's done it's an amazing feeling of "wow, I just made that!". It's hardly ever like that during the whole process though, it's usually a lot of flipping through pages and trial and error and waiting for that spark that's hard to describe but I know it when I feel it.


Space-Time Symposium (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Space-Time Symposium (Collage work by Jesse Treece)


MJL: What is your favorite source of material and is there a clip that you fell in love with in the past?

Jesse Treece: I love the snake clipping from "Death on the Line" (below). It came from an advertisement in Architectural Record and it had a delicacy that I found really striking and tried to preserve while cutting it out. It's one of my favorites for sure.


Death on the Line (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Death on the Line (Collage work by Jesse Treece)


MJL: Was there a movie that freaked you out as a kid and, did it influence your work in any way?

Jesse Treece: Dreamscape with Dennis Quaid, when the President is having nightmares about nuclear war and he gets surrounded by a group of dead and burned children. Yikes! I'm sure it did influence my work and looking back at some of the "dreamscapes" in that film I can see it pretty clearly.


Untitled (Collage by Jesse Treece)

Untitled (Collage by Jesse Treece)


MJL: What are your top ten bands to listen to when making collage?

Jesse Treece: Genesis (with Peter Gabriel), King Crimson, The Stranglers, New Model Army, Guided by Voices, Talk Talk, Wipers, The Moody Blues, Wyes Blood, Cocteau Twins


Childhood’s End (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Childhood’s End (Collage work by Jesse Treece)


MJL: Which 5 collage artists have influenced you most?

Jesse Treece: This is always hard! There are a ton of new favorite artists right now and I don't want to leave anybody out but I'll list some of the ones that really struck me when I was starting out: Jeffrey Meyer aka Goofbutton (I almost want to give up when I look at his work!), Bryan Olson (the same with Bryan!), Beth Hoeckel, Ventral is Golden (a constant source of psychedelic inspiration), Richard Vergez (minimalist post-punk aesthetic).



Big Wheel Keep On Turning (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Big Wheel Keep On Turning (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

MJL: Which one of your collage works do you enjoy most?

Jesse Treece: "The Circular Ruins" is one of my favorites (Below). It plays with a lot of my recurring themes and imagery: scale, perspective, architecture, atmosphere.



The Circular Ruins (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

The Circular Ruins (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

MJL: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a collage artist?

Jesse Treece: having some work published in the Age of Collage book a few years ago is still something I really get a kick out of. Also getting to work on album art by bands that I've been a fan of for years is pretty cool and surreal. I also made collage work for the following bands/albums. The Hazey Janes - Language of Faint Theory & Jet Black - L'Ère Du Vide.

The Hazey Janes - Language of Faint Theory  (Collage art by Jesse Treece)

The Hazey Janes - Language of Faint Theory (Collage art by Jesse Treece)

Jet Black - L'Ère Du Vide  (Collage art by Jesse Treece)

Jet Black - L'Ère Du Vide (Collage art by Jesse Treece)



Morgan’s Favorite Jesse Treece

Natural Living 2 (Collage work by Jesse Treece)

Natural Living 2 (Collage work by Jesse Treece)