P e t e r J a c o b s





On March 31st 2005, I created a collage using that day's New York Times, and have continued that process without interruption every day since.

The Collage Journal is now in its 18th year and I have not missed a day yet.  I produce a collage solely from the images and texts of that day’s newspaper. When I travel, I choose to use a local newspaper. New environments and using the fresh palette of their local newspapers truly influences my work.

The newspaper is cut with an X-acto knife on a self-healing mat. They are glued freely and then finally placed into 12 page Strathmore watercolor books.
I use a ph balancing spray to neutralize the newspaper acid and finally apply a UV satin varnish to the final collage. Every day’s collage is then shared upon completion online:

The Collage Journal's 6,200+ collages reside in over 500 Strathmore books and stored in 32 cases. I have thus-far used over 800 self-healing cutting boards, 5,000 Exacto blades, and over 3000 glue-sticks.

As consistent as the newspaper is printed, each day, I sit down and construct/reconstruct my visual response and internal feelings in that morning’s collage.  Like a written journal, a visual journal incorporates both external and personal experience.  The Collage Journal has become integrated in my daily life as a meditation, contemplation and re-evaluation of culture and identity.  I have not decided on an end date for this series.  Quite possibly, the newspapers will stop production before The Collage Journal ends.

I rarely have a predetermined concept based on the news, nor an end result in mind from the start. Generally, I gather a stew of what I am visually awakened by and allow my sub-conscious to navigate through the process.
I almost always work first thing in the morning with my coffee.
I feel that I am still dreaming a bit, and I do not have the baggage of the day interfering with the work. When I become immersed in the process, I complete the collage in a 2-4 hour window of time.  Rarely, do I leave it and come back to it later that day.
It is integral for me to have this uninterrupted focus. I stop at the point where I feel intuitively settled. I believe my role as an artist is to challenge preconceptions of days passed, and find a new way to see this day.

My works are built with structure and rationality, but welcome gesture and absurdity. They give meaning in life and in doubt.
The art of collage is visual jazz.  And Jazz is about freedom.
The improvisational cuts of paper play solos, but also create a harmony.
Each work freely moves through the dialogue of the layers. I am the architect of these layers, their rhythms, their radical juxtapositions, their perceptual harmonies and visual ironies.

Visit each of the complete first Seventeen Years (6,177 Days)

17th Year

10th Year

8th Year

6th Year

1st Year



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"I strongly believe that one must challenge the previous day's perceptions and find a new way to see this day"

Joan Snyder / Artist

This is an amazing body of work. Each piece speaks worlds. Just the idea that Peter did this every day for 10 years is remarkable.
The discipline required unimaginable...and then add in the never ending poetry and politics.

Mary Birmingham
Curator of The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Like many of us, Peter Jacobs begins each day at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and the New York Times. After digesting the news he creates a collage using images and text from that day’s newspaper, a practice the artist has continued without interruption since March 31, 2005. He observes, “The Collage Journal has become integrated in my daily life as a meditation, contemplation and re-evaluation of culture and identity.” Jacobs fashions these daily collages on the pages of spiral-bound sketchbooks. Intimate in scale and feeling, these compositions are like jazz improvisations that riff on both external events and the interior world of the artist. On the reverse of each collage he pastes words or phrases culled from that day’s paper, including the dateline. The words have no direct relationship to the imagery (beyond their common source) but instead reflect the artist’s free-form responses. In his ongoing dialogue with the newspaper, Jacobs contextualizes the daily news, transforming it into artwork that is both personal and universal.

Jacobs mines all the components of the newspaper for his raw materials—news photos, art, advertisements, background colors and typography—combining whole images with fragments. Sometimes he cuts new figures or shapes directly from the paper, in a manner reminiscent of Matisse, who called his late collage work “drawing with scissors.” Often Jacobs achieves effects that appear surreal, with odd juxtapositions, ambiguous spaces, disembodied body parts and incongruent scales. While the individual collages do not directly represent real people and events, recognizable figures like popes, president and celebrities sometimes make appearances, and fragments of images can reflect real events. Many of the daily collages are purely abstract compositions. Despite the consistency in materials, technique, and format, the artist manages to make each day’s work fresh and unique.

Jacobs archives The Collage Journal, storing the actual sketchbooks in special cases; he has also created an online digital archive that documents each day’s entry. For the past several years he has posted his daily collage on a blog linked to his website as well as on the social networking site, Facebook. This provides a way for viewers to react immediately to the work (and many of them respond with comments.) This interactivity between the artist and his followers on the Internet expands the scope of the Collage Journal so that it becomes part of the daily routines of others. There is a conceptual symmetry in the process: Jacobs takes visual information from the daily newspaper, dissects and reconstructs it in a private daily ritual, and shares the resulting collages on the Internet, placing the altered material back into the public realm. His use of the newspaper as a source material underscores Jacobs’s affinity with the Dada artists who nearly one hundred years ago embraced collage as an effective means to dissolve the boundaries between art and everyday life; his use of technology to communicate these ideas places Jacobs firmly in the twenty-first century.

Marina Delaney
Chair: Visual Arts Dept., Dowling College

Peter Jacobs, who has been involved with the art of collage for over two decades has developed a complex visual language that seeks to reconcile the rational with the irrational. Jacobs' collages are usually comprised of spliced images applied to an architectonic framework. The stability of the architectural foundation allows him to juxtapose incongruous elements that, in spite of themselves, produce a singular cohesive vision. Instinctively the artist seems to assert the primacy of visual relationships over knowledge: in his world it is color, line and space, not reason, that are determinants of logic. The art of collage, as a reconfiguration of discarded images, is a medium destined to render order out of chaos. Jacobs has understood this inherent dilemna and resolves it in a manner that is decidedly postmodern. Passages of humor and wit, beauty and nature, psychology and rhetoric, coexist as a fragmented though unified whole. Indeed, Jacobs continues to reconsider the formal aspects of collage while adhering to the basic principles of its Cubist origins,as an ironic form of expression.

Dan Bischoff
Arts Editor, The Star Ledger

Montclair artist Peter Jacobs has been keeping track of our times by turning them into a collage — he cuts out images from a newspaper with an X-Acto blade and glues them into Strathmore sketchbooks, creating remarkably integrated original images composed by sight (there are no computer algorithms choosing and shaping his work).

Vivien Raynor
Arts Editor, The New York Times

Peter Jacobs cuts strips from high-grade reproductions of fauna (mostly fish) and flora. He then weaves them together, producing collages that are as rich and dense as any medieval stained glass window, particularly the roundel with an orange cap at the center - this imprinted with the legend, New Castle Brown Ale.

Richard DiGangi

You have never failed to amaze me with how the material is rearranged, if that is a proper word to use in the collage making process, to express a vision. They always evoke in me some sort of a response. I don't know if it is something that you have intended, or if it is just the external wrapping of a vision personal to only you. Your cleverness of mind gives me a glimmer of hope for the human condition.

• Article in New Jersey Stage, January 2,2022



• Featured Artist on State of The Arts: PBS Television: watch the Video



CLICK To See Artist Talk with Eric Levin , Hunterdon Art Museum 5/17/2015


The Artful Blogger Review: ILENE DUBE


•Kolaj Magazine, Montreal, June 2015




Visual Arts Center of New Jersey 2012


Featured Artist in the Winter 2011 Strathmore Artist Newsletter



Exposition France


Work on View at The Montclair Art Museum: Opening Thursday, September 23, 2010


* Read the New Jersey Monthly article (April 2010) about artist

* Read The Montclair Times article (April 2010) about artist




Recent Exhibitions



* Read the New Jersey Monthly article (April 2010) about artist

* Read The Montclair Times article (April 2010) about artist


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