Gazing Into the Abyss: Multi-Layered Collages by Alex Eckman-Lawn

portrait of man, vintage
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Based in Philadelphia, Alex Eckman-Lawn is an artist who allegedly “lives in the gutter and sleeps in the sewer.” And when he’s not burning his name into the ground and trying to take down the sun, he’s creating fascinating 3D collages. Like dissected books, each collage is an excavated visual narrative, exposing the story and themes that lie behind the cover. Some of his work explores his “fear of the body,” and how the body cages us; hence, the collage images often resonate with death, alienation, and claustrophobia. I can’t help but to think of Nietzsche’s observation of how when you gaze into the abyss, “the abyss will also gaze into thee”; there is a sense that something is looking back from the deepest layer. Such mental rabbit holes—like the ones that Eckman-Lawn has carved out of paper—often lead to enlightening, humorous, and/or terrifying revelations about the nature of existence, so visit his Instagram for more.

man portrait, hole in face cutout face, vintage portrait hole in eye, portrait
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hole in face, woman portrait closeup of paper cutouts skull in face, portrait of woman paper cutouts xacto knife, paper portrait paper collage
Images © Alex Eckman-Lawn

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Hayley Evans is a freelance writer and editor hailing from Montréal. Her affinity is with the written word and anything that is dark, beautiful, erotic, or strange. Follow the author @ and view more articles.