What is the Cost of Living collage by John Dyess

What is the Cost of Living collage by John Dyess

Before digital cameras,before one hour film processing,illustrators that needed a reference photo used Polaroid cameras.I used a Polaroid “Land Camera”
,which I purchased in the early 1960’s. This camera only used black and white film,which,if you didn’t want the picture to fade,required a coating of  plastic,that came in an applicator with the box of Polaroid film.Several years ago I found a box of Polaroid reference photos, that I had used for various assignments during the 1960’s and 1970’s, and these photos were faded and discolored.I decided to use these Polaroid photos in the collage painting,that is displayed above.
This painting “What is the Cost of Living” was accepted in a St.louis Artists’ Guild exhibit several years ago and I have decided to put this painting in an exhibition titled Ode to Peace at The Gallery Within Webster Groves Christian Church. The theme of my painting is about what keeps people from having peace.

Polaroid of a grocery cart

Polaroid of a grocery cart

This Polaroid of a grocery cart was taken as reference for a drawing for a grocery store advertisement. For this collage it represents hunger and poverty.I scanned the Polaroid
photo and printed it on ledger paper. Surrounding the photo are bar codes and food advertisement that I cut out of a local newspaper

Polaroid photo of a boy boy with a BB gun.

Polaroid photo of a boy boy with a BB gun.

This Polaroid photo was taken around 1970 and was used as reference for an illustration printed in a Daisy rifle catalog.The photo faded over time and there is a light glare on the BB gun which I find interesting.I cut an advertisement out of a newspaper which states “One of the largest selections of firearms in the area”, that I pasted to the left of the boy

model dressed in army fatigues holding a T-square

model dressed in army fatigues holding a T-square

This Polaroid photo was taken of a co-worker at Scott AFB for use as reference for an illustration I did for the cover of an annual report for  the Military Air Transport Service.I dressed Wes up in my army uniform-I was at this time,during the 1960s, in the US Army Reserves– and had him hold a T-square which I turned into a rifle in this illustration.It’s hard to see in this photo that Wes is wearing a helmet ( also known as a “Steel Pot”). I’m glad I saved these photos, for they  have a new meaning to me.

Photograph of R.T. Keating

Photograph of R.T. Keating

This was scanned from a black and white photo of my cousin R.T. Keating taken in Korea during the Korean War. I cut out the Help Us from a newspaper.and-there-was-light-
This text was scanned from the an Old Testament Bible.
Yesterday I added the burnt frame to the collage.I have shown things that keep us from having “Peace”-poverty,hunger,war,conflict,fear,loneliness.

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Comments
  1. Glenn Myers says:

    As always, strong images. Didn’t we all have that wonder of instance, the Polaroid!

  2. Anonymous says:

    John, very cool and great collage!

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