GLIL’s collage-works have a rawness and honesty about them which at least partly derives from the way they re-purpose old magazines, flyers, and other materials generally considered “waste.” This also makes their works heavily linguistic—and one can read the artworks as much as look at them. In their intricate tessellation of parts, their collages ready the playing field for representing icons with dramatic intensity. Using fragments to create pictorial wholes, the personality behind each icon is brought to light; and viewers feel as though they can enter into the psychological makeup of their cultural heroes.
GLIL’s collage Samurai 2 unpacks like an exercise in free association. Similar to the methodology developed by Sigmund Freud, this composite representation of a cyclopean samurai seems to have absorbed a host of cultural signifiers into itself. The playful weirdity of the composition incorporates the Egyptian pyramids and Michelangelo’s Adam, as much as a Buddhist temple styled as an epaulette. In this way, the activity of assembling the collage becomes a panoramic study in those minutia of popular culture that the legacy of the Japanese samurai has come to symbolize.