Mix-Tape Mixed-Media: Art of Erika Iris Simmons

dylan-tape1It still constantly amazes me how the internet age continues to alter every aspect of our everyday lives as a society.  Not only does it affect the way that we shop, learn, and communicate, but this media has also bled into every other form of media to influence how they operate.  Sites like Hulu bring the television to your computer moniters and Youtube has already worked to launch the careers and notoriety of musicians and created celebrities out of random family home videos and of teenagers fucking around.  There is nothing that I have witnessed in recent years which epitomizes these concepts more than the artwork of Georgia artist, Erika Iris Simmons.

Over the last week, I have seen the artwork from Simmons (aka: iri5) popping up in quite a few places.  I first came across an image through stumbleupon when I landed on a site called TechnabobTechnabob originally found out about it through a post on Neatorama and today, when I went to the website for Juxtapoz magazine, I found out even more about the artist when they decided to post something on her as well.  Believe it or not, all of this hype was originally created through simple posts of her artwork on the artists flickr page.  From there, her name has started to slingshot around like a pinball, picking up steam and enlarging the snowball along the way.  I felt that if I have started to notice it, then it will only be a matter of time before others do so, I figured it’s time for us to step in and help give this beast a push of our own.

The image above is part of a series called “Ghost in the Machine” which has been posted over the last month.  The picture of Bob Dylan was created from cassette tape on canvas.  There is no paint or photoshop involved with the images, whatsover.  Of the series the artist states the following:

In this series I showcase a number of portraits of musicians made out of recycled cassette tape with original cassette. Also included are portraits made from old film and reels.”


This image of Ian Curtis is also created in tape, but is placed over the lyrics to Joy Divisions’ song “Passover“.

More images in the series include Jimi Hendrix and Marilyn Monroe.

The medium itself is a strong representation of the aforementioned media crossovers and Simmons‘ other creations further add to that concept.  Everything from audio tapes to film to, even, text and images cut from books are collaged into art, representing the corresponding  individuals that the images are meant to embody.

The bio on her site states the following:

iRI5 has developed an innovative style that focuses on recycling found materials, such as old cassettes and used books, turning trash into treasure


Will I Am Shakepeare” composed entirely of text from Shakespeare sonnets

Quote From Artist: “I am Surrealism‘ A painting by Dali (The Sacrament of the Last Supper, 1955) cut-up and re-arranged to reveal the artist. If you look closely you can see Jesus at the Last Supper.”


Face of Change” portrait constructed from photographs taken from the book “The Rise of Barack Obama” by Pete Souza.


Muhammed Ali collage from photos of boxer’s life.

Check out the iri5 website.
Most images can still be found on her flickr account.

-Dead C

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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