The subject matter incorporated into the artwork is often appropriated from his extensive collection of one-of-a-kind antique daguerreotypes and mid-century snapshots. Each photograph in his acquisition is chosen because of its ability to simultaneously mirror intimate and universal facets of the human experience. “In a day and age when we are constantly being bombarded with immeasurable amounts of new imagery, I have chosen to create new art forms using vintage photographs that have been forgotten, lost or disregarded. This ambiguous, yet familiar collection of snapshots I have assembled traverses universal cultural themes such as nature, science, history and the physical form. My photography-based mixed media artwork relies heavily on the appropriation of these found images and their relationship to the contemporary world through the lens of popular culture.”
Employing a combination of technological and traditional processes in his paper-based creations gives Adam Collier Noel the opportunity to reinterpret the original history of the found image through an enhanced narrative. His inspiration is derived from the meaning inherent in the found images, as well as the materials with which he pairs them. Blue prints, letters of correspondence, receipts, book pages, etc. are often layered with the photographs to reﬂect the importance of paper as a transcript of human history and a place where ideas are written and discoveries are documented.
Building upon the rich history of the image creates a transcendence of time and a revitalization of the past, “Much of my work is about optics, ways of seeing and the grand tradition of photography. By appropriating and repurposing found images I give them a new life and a new narrative. I have often expressed that I may not necessarily be the photographer of these relics, but through my artistic interpretation I feel I am their curator.”
Recently, Adam Collier Noel traded representational imagery for bold abstraction in a new series of colorful paintings. Using his familiar grid composition, Noel explores formal compositional elements and color theory applications to achieve a rhythmic balance pleasing to the eye. He explains, “The grid has always been a consistent element throughout my artwork. It is a way of bringing order to chaos and organization to disarray. Each color within the framework is carefully chosen and layered to create slight tension with overall harmony.”