“…the aim is to capture the perfection of life and make it apparent, only as death lays it bare.” – Adam Medford

Adam Medford is a talented American artist, who creates collages that are unsettling but bizarrely appealing at the same time. We asked him about his inspirations, and what goes on during his artistic process.

COR: Please tell us a little about yourself!

Adam Medford: Hello! I am an analog/digital collage artist currently living in Seattle, WA. My technique is a blend of hand-cut and digitally arranged collage work. I use digital collage to eliminate repetition in my available analog source material. 

I’ve been practicing this medium since 2005, but only got very serious about analog work in 2011. Since 2011 I have been building a vast body of works that I am hoping to host in some gallery space sometime soon.

COR: Where does the affection with human destroyed body pieces come from? Where did the idea originate from?

Adam Medford: That’s a great question, thank you. Maraṇasati is a Buddhist meditation practice that uses various visualization and contemplation techniques to meditate on the nature of death. Though I am not a Buddhist, I see the importance of this meditation. Much like this practice, my art brings these themes to the surface in full display. The aim is to capture the perfection of life and make it apparent, only as death lays it bare.

COR: Who/what has the main influence on you?

Adam Medford: My parents influenced and nurtured a healthy dark side of my personality. Both are psychotherapists who deal with trauma and PTSD, so there tends to be exposure to darker themes in general.

My artistic influences include Stephen Gammell, Vincent Locke, Joel-Peter Witkin, Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man, Carlos Dávila, Mike Finklea, Deborah Renee Medford, Carcass, The Residents, Jodie Day, Clive Barker, Khalil Gibran  and many more.

COR: Are there any movies or music that inspires your work?

Adam Medford: I have two memories that stand out.. When I was young, I had come across two Carcass records in a record store, “Symphonies of Sickness” and “Reek of Putrefaction”. These collages fascinated me, how the detail blended into their own textures. 

Another time I recall watching a music video by the group The Residents called “Hello Skinny”. The video was made of photo collage pieces threaded together to form a story. It was a messed up video and I loved it.

COR: Where do you get the photos from what you use in your collages?

Adam Medford: I source my material from the internet, medical and pathology textbooks, and from a friend who is a doctor of anatomy. I get the textbooks from second-hand stores, some of the images were provided by a friend in the industry, and the rest of the images are all gathered from medical and surgical forums.

COR: You made a lot of album covers as well. Which is your favorite piece?

Adam Medford: I have a lot that I really admire and love, but I finished one recently for a death metal project called Pitiless Gaze. The piece I’m referring to is titled “Fractured Image of the Bastard Messiah”. It’s a mix of hand-torn/hand-cut work and it was very fun to make. Definitely a challenge that ended with a mind of its own.

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