Leslie Oh’s Artist Statement


Color is the heart of my collages. My primary experience with color comes from growing up in New Mexico where sunsets, sands and mountains are seen in stark contrast and bright clarity. Almost thirty years in Chicago added the layers of neon and soot. Another thirty years in New England added density, organic texture and lushness.

During my 14-year practice of making digital collages, I have come to see that my primary responsibility is making good artistic choices.

I have collected hundreds of images to use in my collages. They have many attributes, but they are not organized to meet specific requirements. Each collage starts with one image. I must hunt through my image collection again and again looking for one that complements or enhances the first image I have chosen. Sometimes an image will stop me in my tracks. It isn’t the right color. It’s the exact opposite of what I had in mind. I may disregard this image and what it is telling me, but then relent, and go back and try it. It is often stunning. Each successive image limits my choice of what comes next. My collages rely on the wisdom of these images, my years of experience and my design and color matching skills.

When a collage is finished, I exert more control over the tasks of fine tuning it by adjusting its brightness, contrast, resolution, colors and size.

I delight in making these collages. I have learned that, when I abandon myself to the process, I always find myself surprised in the end. This spurs me to begin working on the next one.

– Les Oh, April, 2018