Clockwise from left:
Open Range, 2012, collage on paper, 17x21in.
Between, 2012, collage on paper, film overlay, 6x8in.
Pull, 2012, collage on paper, 17x13in.
Sky Split, 2012, collage on paper, 17x21in.
Catch, 2012, collage on paper, 9x11in.
Drift, 2012, collage on paper, 8x6in.

A. This is a group of collages I’ve been working on recently for a show. They are made of cut magazines and photographs on paper. Two of them have a film overlay that obscures the image behind it when viewed from different angles. I grouped these pieces together similarly to how I work on the collages individually—I think about the space in between the images, how the forms relate to one another, and the scale of the parts to the whole. I’m interested in finding a balance between representation and abstraction, and activating the space of the paper. Some of these pieces, like Pull and Drift, are made using a single image that is cut and rearranged into a pattern. Sky Split is made of multiple source images, which results in a simultaneous depth and flatness.

Open Range, 2012, collage on paper, 17x21in. 
A. I think about travel and wanderlust a lot. I’m drawn to images of landscapes and architectural spaces and collect old photographs and National Geographics. I cut thes! into bits and pieces that hang around my studio untilthey make their way into a collage. When I first started working this way, the pieces were arranged in clusters on the paper. Now, they are spreading out across the surface, and I’m more considerate of edges and negative space. Lately I have been introducing different films and light into the work to play with distorting the image, and working directly on the wall.

A. I came to Houston from Cleveland, Ohio for an MFA at the University of Houston. One of my professors in undergrad recommended the program to me. A lot of people are surprised that I moved here for art, but the art scene in Houston is great. There are a ton of museums and galleries, and the Rothko Chapel is within walking distance from my apartment. I also hate the cold, and am excited to experience a winter with minimal snow.

Melinda Laszczynski is a first year graduate student in the Painting department at University of Houston. More here: