Bizarre or trending subjects, catch a break with our curiosity of the week. Dutch artist Toon Joosen produces collages with images from retro magazines. An absurd and amusing collection.

In Toon Joosen’s mad world, men become vegetables, women lick astral ice creams, Johannes Vermeer’s milkmaid sprinkles mountain ranges, and Hendrick ter Brugghen’s luth player swaps his instrument for an artichoke. With humour, the Dutch artistic director and visual designer produces collages with vintage illustrations. “They give my work an alienating retro atmosphere with a spark of comedy. Where do I get my inspiration? From objects and situations from everyday life”, the artist tells us.

Working intuitively, Toon Joosen puts together strange pairs. In each of his creations, two elements battle one another and invite absurdity into an ordinary moment. “It is essential that they come together well”, he adds. Deliciously eccentric, his artworks are inspired by the codes of old newspapers and play with our sense. “I just love ancient images. They have some kind of imperfection. The printing process was not yet as sophisticated as it is today. I am particularly fascinated by full-color images whose colors do not quite match but are slightly shifted”, the designer says. Grotesque and strangely poetic, his collages capture our most insane dreams and immerse us into a hallucinatory world.

© Toon Joosen