“I believe we rarely learn anything new. Rather, we arrange what is already familiar to us and come to a new understanding. This is my approach to collage and assemblage. I remove familiar images and objects from their original context and arrange them to illustrate a new notion or idea. I have been telling stories with surreal imagery for 35 years.” ~Carleton Wing
Carleton is a self-taught collage and assemblage artist. He started creating found-image paper, surreal story-telling collage in 1981. In 1999 Carleton retired from IBM/Lexmark as a Technical writer. He purchased an abandoned commercial building in Lexington, Kentucky and renovated it as an art gallery. He named it Wingspan Gallery in an effort to create a personal connection between art and the community. It had a main gallery with four smaller galleries. The 2nd floor was converted into his personal living space. Up until then Carleton had exhibited his Collages of social comment in many local and regional galleries. Having his own gallery enabled him to concentrate on creating and exhibiting his own art with a new body of work once or twice a year. He spent the remainder of the time exhibiting local, regional and national artists as well as faculty artists from the Universities of Kentucky and Transylvania.
In 2006 Carleton began experimenting with digital collage. He found it to be very satisfying and challenging in a different way from found-image paper collage. Digital work allows him to be a lot more creative in his story-telling as well as in the artistic presentation of composition, color and texture.
In 2009 Carleton began working with 3-dimensional assemblage (his approach is the same as with 2-dimensional collage). Instead of combining images, he combines objects into a different context to create new meaning. He currently divides his time between digital collage and assemblage.