Annoyingly democratic


Certain mediums of art seem annoyingly democratic. Everyone with a camera thinks he’s magically become a photographer; with Final Cut, a director; with Serato, a DJ. Similar thinking goes with collage. With Photoshop and Google Image Search—or for the stubbornly analog, glue and old magazines—one has all the needed tools to rip new meanings out of old contexts. How does one break any new ground as a combiner of things, while also presenting a distinct voice and vision? The designer Mark Weaver relies on rules. Confining his canvases to a few well-chosen elements—confident typefaces, unpeopled landscapes, period portraits, severe architecture, geometric shapes, arcane charts—he builds a sense of mood and mystery that floats quietly toward the surreal.