Joe Brainard and the New York School:
Material Texts and Digital Cultures

Celebrating the collages of artist and writer Joe Brainard, and the collaborative, experimental ethos of the New York School of poets more broadly, this website will enable you to create your own unique collages using materials selected and cut out by Brainard himself.

You can find out a little more about the ‘make your own Brainard’ project here.

Making your own collage

Our simple collage composition tool will enable you to create your own collage using cut-out fragments chosen by Joe and digitized by us. He intended them for use in his own collages, but never got around to including them, so in keeping with the spirit of generosity and collaboration that underpinned all of his work, this project and the Brainard Estate has now made them available for collage enthusiasts all over the world to use as they see fit.

Once you have completed your collage, you can display it in to our gallery, or download it to keep, print and / or share.  You can also download the images of the collage fragments, and make your collage elsewhere (e.g. using photo-editing software or printing and assembling it manually, the old-fashioned scissors-and-glue way).  If you choose to make your collage elsewhere, you can upload your finished piece to the gallery, using the button on the collage composer.

Joe Brainard, Untitled ("Hi Folks") 1965

Joe Brainard, Untitled (“Hi Folks”) 1965


Make a name for yourself (or don’t)

If you choose to display your collage in the gallery, you may do so under your own name, anonymously, or using a pseudonym. This is to pay tribute to Joe’s desire that his work remain independent of its market value – while he almost always signed his work, his conception of art as collaborative and constantly reinventing meant that he resisted the notion of any of his pieces becoming ‘a Brainard’.

You will also be given the option to ‘lose’ or destroy your collage, reflecting both Joe’s propensity for gift-giving (which has resulted in numerous collages disappearing out into the world, where, we hope, they are cherished, somewhere) and his awareness of the fragility and transiency of collage – collages are made of worn, often thrown-away materials, and, on the whole, will fall apart (even digital collages will not last forever).

Enquiries or issues?

If you want to make an enquiry or encounter any difficulties with the collage composer, please get in touch.

Kenward, Happy Labour Day, Vermont 1966

Joe Brainard: Kenward, Happy Labor Day, Vermont 1966