Chicago Collage Artist Stephen Eichhorn Dishes on His Current Obsessions

By Tate Gunnerson | November 26, 2018 | Culture

Collage maestro Stephen Eichhorn shares his creative inspirations, both in Chicago and beyond.

Photo by Clark Griffiths

For years, sculptor and collage artist Stephen Eichhorn kept a pile of “rocks” on the corner of the desk at his Logan Square studio. In actuality, they were found images of stones and pebbles that Eichhorn extracted from their original context using an X-Acto knife. Ultimately, he placed them one by one onto a magnificent large-scale collage that resembles terrazzo. While it often takes months or longer for Eichhorn to gather the right images—which have included plants, orchids, cats and most recently cacti (“I go down these rabbit holes,” he says)—the 34-year-old North Carolina native arranges them quickly and intuitively into spectacular, chaotic arrangements that look almost digital against their solid-colored backgrounds.

“The gathering and making complement each other,” he explains. “I seek a type of perfection through repetition and pattern.” As Eichhorn prepares for a six-week solo show at Carrie Secrist Gallery, he reveals to Michigan Avenue some of his favorite things, from fashion to travel and more. Through Dec. 22, 835 W. Washington Blvd., 312.491.0917

(Photo courtesy of Dries Van Noten)

“The fabric based on Italian marbled paper in Dries van Noten’s FW18 menswear collection is amazing, and perfectly paired with psychedelic imagery and details.”

(Photo by Clayton Hauck)

“The interior design at Lonesome Rose mirrors my personal taste. The floor is a mishmash of terrazzo, tile and concrete, and there are cacti everywhere. They do a South African chicken taco that’s amazing.” 201 N. California Ave.

(Photo via Wikki Commons by Marc Bewersdorff CC by 3.0)

“Once you leave Reykjavik, you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s otherworldly to be on a glacier that’s still moving and changing—a very cosmic experience.”


“I use the Japanese OLFA LTD-09, which is a heavier X-Acto knife and has better handling. Between the quality of the blades and the tool, I’m able to better focus on the cutting and craft.”

(Photo courtesy of Vivobarefoot)

“In the studio, I have my X-Acto knife, and now I’m working on the right tools for the gym. The Vivobarefoot Primus Swimrun Boot SG is one of them. It was nice to find a shoe that’s made from plastic bottles.”


“My wife and I keep going back to the Montrose Harbor Bird Sanctuary. The walk through the prairie grasses and plantings is a serene, unique experience and approach to the lakefront.” 4400 N. Simonds Drive

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