Martin’s head isn’t in the clouds—it’s in between the folds of the beautiful bodies he’s pressed together. The artist, who goes by the pseudonym The Skinny Type, isn’t interested in creating art for the masses. Instead, his distinctive, hand-cut collages are for him and him alone.
Scroll through his Instagram and you’ll find the kinds of idyllic, homoerotic collages Call Me by Your Name’s Elio might’ve taken up in Oliver’s heart-wrenching absence. Beautiful bodies plastered together to create visions of unfiltered love. With his scraps of magazines, he’s created a fantasy world free from homophobia or scorn and, in the process, found a devoted following on social media. It’s no wonder his often heart wrenching collages have an impact—in a world so full of hate and bigotry, his intimate scenes are an escape.
We caught up with the mysterious artist as he took a break from his work and set down what we can only imagine are dozens of glue sticks to talk about his process, his first collage, and why he doesn’t care if you think his work isn’t diverse enough.
When did you create your first collage?
It was back in 2013. I guess I was bored at home and felt a desire to cut a torso from some new underwear packaging. I then mixed it with some images I found in a magazine and liked the process of doing it. I haven’t stopped since.
These images are reminiscent of the kinds of scrapbook collages we used to make as kids, albeit with a very homoerotic twist. Did this inspire you?
I was never good at the arts when I was a child—I didn’t enjoy it back then. My interest in art grew with time first from an outsider position and then I gradually created and produced work myself.
How do you find the images to use?
Mainly through magazines and books of photographers I like. I also like doing collaborations with other photographers and have them send me images they like. I see what comes out of mixing them.
You blend images from other photographers as well as your own. What is your guiding principle when shooting photos?
Actually, I’ve only done one photo shooting myself, even though I’ve been into photography for a while. I struggle a bit with the idea of taking the photos myself and then creating something out of them in a digital way. First, because it becomes more pre-determined and less spontaneous and also because the digital word also has too many tools. It becomes quite easy to make the images work. The moment you can scale and mirror and duplicate, it kind of loses the magic for me.
Some may critique of your work as not being diverse enough. How would you combat that?
It’s simple. It’s not intended to be diverse nor is intended to please anybody. It´s more something I do because I enjoy it. Not to say it’s not rewarding when people like and admire my works. It gives me motivation, but it still remains a secondary priority.
How does your own identity and life blend with your artistic work?
My work is quite personal as it comes from my own desires and fantasies, so I guess my identity is implicit in all of them.
What goals do you have for 2018?
I would love to do an exhibition. I want to do more collaborations and keep exploring with my own photos.