Viewing the Emergent City and Its People

matthew cusick: map work collages

A different use for maps at the end of the age of ubiquitous printing of everything on our computers from designboom


‘blue horse’ by matthew cusick, 2011
inlaid maps on panel
20 x 30 inches

all images courtesy the artist

new york-based matt cusick has made a name for himself as a fine artist due to his elaborate depictions of humans and other animals,
water and landforms crafted entirely from recycled maps. to develop these collage pieces, he meticulously slices segments of antiquated
cartographic works including those of old encyclopedias, textbooks, roadmaps, and atlases in order to layer small clippings
into lively, familiar forms.

most of cusick’s collages is made colorful by the shades map makers choice to employ in their interpretations of the earth’s surface.
it is through past cartographers representations of surface depth, shape and plant-life portrayed in these individuals use of contour lines,
darkening, and a vast color palate depicting the planet’s landscapes as the range includes pigments ranging from oceans to rainforests to deserts.
cusick provides his depictions with a rich, tactile quality sometimes enhancing his works with acrylic paint or home-crafted walnut ink
in order to complement his map-formed figures with additional shading.


‘the rachel’s wave’, 2011
inlaid maps, acrylic on panel
30 x 42 inches


‘malvo’, 2011
maps, sighting targets, ink, dye, on panel
40 x 30 inches


‘shauna’, 2011
inlaid maps, acrylic, on panel
45 x 40 inches


‘three horses’, 2011
inlaid maps, acrylic, on panel
48 x 192 inches


detailed perspective of ‘three horses’


this alternate view of ‘three horses’ depicts the meticulous layering which make up each of cusick’s map works 

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