Artist Vincent Khouni, better known as Khouni Island, likes to recreate the world with his simple taste. One philosophical question behind his glue and images is,’ If you could recreate a world in your image, what would it look like?’ For Khouni, every collage is a new idea, a new world, a different universe.
Khouni began making collages thanks to dada artists like Hannah Hoch and contemporary artists like Julian House. House is famous in the musical world for his albums cover art.
"Music is a great inspiration for me"
"When I was younger, I discovered many bands thanks to their album covers. I like album cover styles like Bauhaus, The Cramps, Kraftwerk, or Joy Division."
Since starting out his work grew from making flyers to computer based digital works, all the way to paper and glue. "I really prefer contact with paper and glue. I use everything: magazines, ads, flyers, paintings, posters and others. I love the contact with materials, I love the imperfection of it."
Music plays a big role in Khouni's work. The first time he's been in contact with collages was an album cover by artist Julian House. It was the cover of the last Oasis album called Dig Out Your Soul. "I did some album covers myself for my band Double Date with Death and for my previous band Video Futur." He is also an advocate for bands like Broken Column, a 4 pieces band with an original sound. "It's dark, it's moving, it's catchy and sometimes even danceable".
Khouni is based in Montreal, and is visibly involved in the local scene. Apart from being a regular at Casa del Popolo and at the classic Bodkin Tattoo parlour, he is currently collaborating with Nicolas Brassard, a Montreal based collage artist, photographer and print maker, whose practice is deeply influenced by both his involvement in the world of book publishing and his job as a picture framer. In his collages he uses old books, dis-aggregated bindings, yellowed pages and faded halftone photos to evoke specific moods.
"The whole world is inspiring for me… even a cat on a sofa"
Together with Nicolas Brassard, Khouni Island is working on an upcoming new exhibition called Retailles. Retailles, (which can be translated as scraps, clippings or cuttings), is a collection of new works by both artists and will run from September 20th - 22nd at Gallery Parfois.
"Retailles is the result of a fortuitous encounter in a picture framing shop, when two local artists bonded over their mutual reverence for the medium of collage, with its free and intuitive approach to the arrangement of forms and its characteristic smell of freshly cut paper.
Though each artist clearly inhabits a distinct visual style as well as his own idiosyncratic approach to the form, their creative visions overlap in a common desire to evoke a felt impact through strong imagery and in their shared penchant for minimalism."