Decalcomania

From Academic Kids

Decalcomania, or Décalcomanie, is a surrealist technique originated by Oscar Dominguez (and called by him "decalcomania with no preconceived object") in 1936 in which gouache is spread thinly on a sheet of paper or other surface (glass has been used), which is then pressed onto another surface such as a canvas. Black gouache was originally used, though colours later made their appearance. And the production of decalcomanias has not been defined to gouache; at Yale University fingerpaint decalcomanias has been analysed for their tendency, when the process is repeated several times on the same paper, to generate fractals.[1] (http://classes.yale.edu/Fractals/Panorama/Art/Decalcomania/Decalcomania.html) Max Ernst also practiced decalcomania, as did Hans Bellmer and Remedios Varo.[2] (http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m1248/4_89/73236324/p1/article.jhtml)

Richard Genovese originated the practice of photographic decalcomania, in which photographic scans are superimposed on decalcomanias.

These images are simply decalcomanias that produced in a rapid succession without any forethought, the most 'beautiful' ones --the ones that suggest something more than a decalcomania, other than a decalcomania, are set aside. At this point a series of photographic images are superimposed upon scans of the decalcomanias and bits and pieces suggest themselves into the framework of the 'paint blots'. Anything that seems forced is immediately rejected. It is similar to gazing at cloud formations and visualizing objects within the wispy fog. The photographic images magically induce themselves to the decalcomanias and vice versa. It is all rather by chance encounter and the exercise is a sort of re-suggestion of that which Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer achieved through more traditional Decalcomania process first introduced by Oscar Dominguez.


A variation of this procedure in which paint is applied to a paper, the paper then being folded, is popularly practiced (though without surrealist intent) by young schoolchildren.

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