Surreal jigsaw puzzle montages – in pictures
Software engineer by day, puzzle enthusiast by night, Washington-based artist Tim Klein has been creating montages out of jigsaw puzzles for 25 years. “A jigsaw puzzle manufacturer typically uses the same cut pattern for different puzzles,” Klein explains. “This makes the pieces of their puzzles interchangeable and I find that I can combine two or more to make a surreal image that the manufacturer never imagined.” He was inspired by American art professor Mel Andringa, who was the first to experiment with puzzle montages in the 1960s. For his work, Klein uses vintage puzzles from the 1970s-90s, the selection of which can take years: “It’s an obsessive but enjoyable treasure hunt,” he says. The resulting image is often very different from his original idea, making the process feel like one of discovery as much as of creation: “I sometimes feel like an archaeologist reconstructing some curious, shattered artefact.”
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Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles Blended Piece-by-Piece into Surreal Montages by Tim Klein
“Pig Jaw Suzzle #2,” 11 x 9 inches. All images © Tim Klein, shared with permission
Although there’s seemingly only one way to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, Tim Klein (previously) has diverged from the traditional method of following the photo on the box to assemble unusual arrangements of hybrid animals and everyday objects. The Vancouver, Washington-based artist combines two vintage puzzles that are similar in composition, creating bizarre amalgamations that position a hedgehog on top of a muffin and mask George Washington’s face with verdant greenery and a waterfall.
In a statement, Klein said he often utilizes die-cut pieces from the same manufacturer, which allows him to plug in portions from two different sets. “I take great pleasure in discovering such strange images lying shattered, sometimes for decades, within the cardboard boxes of ordinary mass-produced puzzles,” the artist said.
Although many of Klein’s puzzles are sold out—he notes that he needs more source material to create more—you can follow the humorous combinations on Facebook.
Left” “Pupcake,” 10 x 10 inches. Right: “Muffin,” 10 x 10 inches
“Waterfall Grille,” 6 x 18 inches
“King of the Road,” 18 x 24 inches
“Washington,” 18 x 24 inches
“The Other Side,” 18 x 24 inches
“Metamorphosis (Unburdening),” 24 x 18 inches
“Bow Wow,” 15 x 7 inches
“Were-Rabbit,” 11 x 9 inches
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Nobody offends. She shook her head: No, no, everything is fine. Then I took out of my pocket a clothespin I had taken from the house and began to play with.
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Does he repent. Absolutely. He also begs not to anathematize her, and to start auto-da-fe as soon as possible. The fourth still turned the screw several times. Just because I could.TIMA KLEIN COLLAGES. SURREALISTIC PUZZLES. USA
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