Map Collages

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Artist Matthew Cusick turns bits and pieces of old maps into amazing art with his map collages.  The maps are intricately pieced together into works of art.  The end result is amazing with collages that capture incredible detail and, from afar, look like paintings.  Cusick uses no color aside from the color inherent in the pieces of maps. Cusick’s map art has included portraits (see below for an example) as well as scenes like my favorite of this artist’s body of work: Blue Horse (also below).

According to an article on My Modern Metropolis, Cusick says, “I like to catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it.”  In a later interview, Cusick explains how he got started with working with maps:

About nine years ago, frustrated with paint and brushes, I just started experimenting with some maps I had laying around the studio. I found that maps have all the properties of a brushstroke: nuance, density, line, movement, and color. Their palette is deliberate and symbolic, acting as a cognitive mechanism to help us internalize the external. And furthermore, since each map fragment is an index of a specific place and time, I could combine fragments from different maps and construct geographical timelines within my paintings.

Cusick earned his BFA in 1993 from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art.  He has exhibited in New York and Los Angeles as well as a host of other places.


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Browse the works of Matthew Cusick on his web site.

Cussick’s work, Charlie’s Angels is a great example of how the artist has crafted a work of art that makes gives the impression of a painting.

Charlie’s Angels, 2009 Maps, book pages, Folger’s coffee, ink, on wood panel

A zooming in view of Charlie’s Angels shows how much detail Cussick has infused into the work by using scraps of maps.

Charlie’s Angels – Detail

Blue Horse by Matthew Cusick - one of his map collages.

Blue Horse by Matthew Cusick – one of his map collages.

Further Resources


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