Patti Menkes - Collage Artist

Patti Menkes Patti Menkes is a lyrical collage artist living in Toronto. She creates clever and canny mash-ups of design elements, magazine cutouts, printed images, her own photographs, and celebrated works of art. Fashioned from smudged and torn pieces of paper with ragged edges, her densely layered collages mix beauty with bizarre and familiar with fanciful to create dazzling works of art rich with vivid textures and vibrant colours. A close observer of the human condition, Patti fashions art statements that are both thought provoking and visually rewarding.

Patti Menkes grew up in Boston in the 1950s. Her father, a shoe designer, manufacturer and retailer had an office in Boston and another in New York. Her mother orchestrated visits to museums and the symphony, and encouraged and inspired her daughter's acute interest in fashion.

Patti began her studies at Finch College in New York and graduated with a studio art degree from Marymount Manhattan College. While in school, she got a part-time job assisting a fashion photographer, doing some studio styling and vetting model portfolios. Patti also interned at Schumacher, a textile house in the Design District in NYC.

She moved to Toronto in the late 1970s with her Canadian husband. Originally, she made and sold textile-based art, until she began to practice decoupage. Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing torn or cut paper onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold or silver leaf. Subsequently, in 2009, Menkes felt the desire to work on paper with paper. As a natural outgrowth of her other aesthetic practices, she began using her collections of favourite magazines, catalogs, post cards, newspaper clippings to begin creating collages. This led to her making collages which were then used as the basis for prints on paper.

Her art practice has escalated in recent years and she maintains a studio in Toronto, along with another studio located in Florida. Her collages are being compiled into a limited edition, large-format artist's book, to be published soon. In a parallel vein, an early interest in film and TV production has resurfaced; Patti has spent the past several years putting together a feature film involving dancer-protagonists, a project that she describes as "a black comedy with dramatic moments."

Click here to view Patti Menkes' art website