Jay Riggio's handcrafted dreamscapes are taking cut-and-paste art to a new surreal place.

Jay Riggio's handcrafted dreamscapes are taking cut-and-paste art to a new surreal place.

Collage artist Jay Riggio is a New York skateboarder, born and bred, who is corroborating skate culture’s reputation as a creative wellspring. Skating, says Jay, introduced him to “a life of creating” and from a young age he felt compelled to write. So he did, penning articles for magazines like Huck that saw him riding the magic carpet of indie journalism to hang-out with heroes and icons like Mark Gonzales and Bam Margera and capture their wild escapades in energetic prose. “I wanted to tell stories and concoct visuals in the minds of anyone who cared to read my words,” he says.

Now, landing firmly back in Brooklyn after a stint in LA, Jay is honing his skills as an artist with an inspired approach to the art of cut-and-paste. His surreal dreamscapes – handcrafted offline using an X-acto knife, scissors, glue and nothing else – dig around the sub-conscious to retrieve half-caste messages about love, life, humour and humanity, with Kafka-esque titles like ‘The Present Will Reinvent Itself’ and ‘Your Magic is Just an Illusion’ that leave the game of interpretation in the viewer’s court.

Huck caught up with Jay, fresh from a month-long road trip in an airstream and having just put out his first zine, and got a deconstructed run-down of the things that inspire his cut-and-paste world.


By Jay Riggio


They’re my favourite band. Their music wholeheartedly captures the spirit of raw beauty and sadness. Frontman Jason Molina wrote amazingly honest lyrics and had a voice that’s completely timeless. Molina died last year but left behind a long list of classic recordings from his solo stuff and his other outfit, Songs: Ohia. Love it all.


Haneke is an Austrian filmmaker. Anyone who’s had the pleasure or discomfort of watching one of his films will never forget it. He’s a master of manipulating his audience. Long, unconventional takes, scenes that go on in silence for way too long and scenarios that are demented. His films are devastating at times, but unbelievably full of life and honesty. Watch Funny Games and/or The Seventh Continent. They’re masterpieces.


Levé was a French photographer whose writings were fantastic. His style is like nothing that I’ve ever read. Each sentence is overflowing with sincerity and a kind of innocent confusion. He wrote an essay for the Paris Review entitled, “When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue”. It’s one of the prettiest pieces ever written. I make sure to read it once every few months. His final novel is called Suicide. He submitted the manuscript ten days before killing himself. Heavy, right? The guy’s brilliance was beyond anything that fit into the mould of this world.

By Edourd Leve © / courtesy Galerie Loevenbruck - Paris

By Edourd Leve © / courtesy Galerie Loevenbruck – Paris


My good friends Danny White and Jason Grabowski. They’re both super gifted artists.  Their works are so different from each other and mine, but each piece they create is done with 150% heart and soul.  Knowing them personally and seeing what comes out of their paintings or illustrations gives me a unique perspective into their work.  Having good friends that are continually pushing themselves and the boundaries of their mediums drives me daily.

Danny White

Danny White


Rosie is my dog. She’s a 23-pound Boston Terrier. She’s been by my side for 7 years and I love the shit out of her. She gets nervous when she’s left alone. And I feel nervous when she’s not with me. So I take her everywhere I go. She’s been with me on all kinds of trips to different states, two cross-country moves and everything else that comes with life’s day-to-day missions. She sometimes growls at her own farts, loves to cuddle and has a heart of gold.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 18.58.05

Follow Jay on Twitter via @jayriggioart and keep up to date with forthcoming shows on Jayriggioart.tumblr.com.