In his recent project, “CenterFold,” Brooklyn-based graphic designer Nick Massarelli creates three by four inch compositions by cropping around the intersection between two mismatched pages in disassembled 1970’s saddle-stitched magazines. Centering each piece around the holes left behind by the staples used for binding, Massarelli’s process relies on an algorithm of sorts. “The most creative part of the process is sometimes the editing, sequencing, and deciding which of the results to share,” he explains. “There is an element of chance involved, especially when you consider that each of the compositions are double-sided.” He likens this process to the cut-up technique of writing poetry created by the Dadaists in the 1920s, and later used by William S. Burroughs in the 50s and 60s. Another reference is profil without words by Hans-Peter Feldmann—a replica of a newsstand magazine with all of the text removed, leaving behind only the images.
Massarelli wears many hats in his creative practice. In addition to client and personal work, he is the senior designer at Actual Source, a part-time teacher in the Communication Design program at Parsons School of Design, and co-creator of publishing company First Last, which he runs with his friend Sean Murray. A selection of images from “CenterFold” were recently published as an artist booklet through First Last, and Massarelli is currently working toward a more substantial book that will feature the full series.
Reach out to Nick Massarelli for original works or editioned prints, and see more of the series below!