everything here © M.T. Karthik 1999 – 2017

Chanakya Looks To Laos [2017]

Chanakya Looks to Laos

35mm photographic print, currency from Laos, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, drawing of Chanakya by R. Waeerkar, turmeric dyed image of Kartikeya. In the collection of The Davidson Library Special Collections, University of California, Santa Barbara


I’ve produced collage intermittently over the years, but began in earnest only after meeting and cohabiting with C.K. Wilde at the end of the 20th century. At the dawn of the digital age, the need to craft books to communicate ideas was shared by our colleagues at Booklyn Artists Alliance, where Wilde called my aesthetic “Tough Guy Minimalist.”

In that context I couldn’t deny it.


Here’s Jefferson Snowboarding [2009]


Acrylic and a single two dollar bill on 100% cotton paper, Jefferson Snowboarding is in the collection of The Davidson library at UC Santa Barbara



This is End of the Drought [2010]

EPSON scanner image

it’s in the collection of J. Van Aken, Los Angeles, CA

I’ve been working with currency for two and a half decades which I feel has to be done with discretion, so I’ve ended up with sparse representation of my work floating around the internet.

Some very specific works, archived by arts institutions, have not been photographed or digitized, by design. I think it makes experiencing my work in person a considerably more intimate experience.


Here’s Lincoln’s a Goofyfoot [2009]:

EPSON scanner image

which is also at special collections in the Davidson Library.

Nowadays though, everybody says, “digitize everything” and stick it up on the net … sigh.


Fishing the Cool Grey City of Love (2014)


in the collection of: O.M. Milan

Digital c-print of San Francisco skyline from Port of Oakland, collage elements: cupids from the turn of the 17th century by the elder brother, Annibale, and fisherfolk by the younger brother, Agostino, Caracci of Bologna.


Here’s some work in progress:


But I still don’t like the way my collage work looks on the net (or for that matter Wilde’s or Mark Wagner’s – by whose styles I was influenced). It’s flat and compressed and hardly what the pieces are like in person.

Against Soldier Mentality [2007]

tyger, tyger, burning out [2007]

The Rupee Ganesha was made in collaboration with C.K. Wilde

In the years 1999-2000, I used currency on canvas in:

No Real Choice 2000 [3’9″ x 5’2″]

A historic and yet prophetic piece completed two months before the Florida Fiasco and the (s)Election of 2000, this canvas was installed during the Super Tuesday Primaries in February 2000 in The Voting Chamber. (<– click that link and check that out)

Then the election was decided behind closed doors by the U.S. Supreme Court.


The white line is how long white men have had the vote, the blue line, men of color, and the yellow line, women.

2 thoughts on “Collage”

  1. wicked willy said:

    Wow. Can you post more of your collages please?

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