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Art

Imposing Wild Animals Emerge from Layers of Cardboard in Scott Fife’s Sculptures

November 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a cardboard bear bust

“Polar Bear” (2011), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 26 x 53 x 29 inches. Photo by Mark Davidson. All images shared with permission

Armed with glue and screws, artist Scott Fife fashions large-scale creatures from a humble material in an exploration of the relationship between humans and our animal counterparts, particularly those we associate with myth and folklore. The beastly creations emerge in his aptly named solo show Cardboard Kingdom, which is on view now at Traver Gallery in Seattle.

Comprised of fringed layers and patchwork, the animals are wild and expressive, with drowsy, drooping eyes or snarling teeth. Many bear the markings of human touch, with drips of ink and pencil drawings on their faces and bodies. “Physically beautiful, we endear these animals with many meanings. But they are predators and prey in a brutal world. These are portraits of individuals as they are in nature,” he shares.

Cardboard Kingdom is on view through December 22, and you can find more of Fife’s sculptures on his site.

 

A photo of a cardboard lion bust

“Lioness” (2011), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 26 x 53 x 29 inches. Photo by Mark Davison

A photo of a cardboard dog

Detail of “Dog With Picasso Guitar” (2022), archival cardboard, glue, drywall screws, and ink, 14 x 60 x 30 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard dog

“Dog With Picasso Guitar” (2022), archival cardboard, glue, drywall screws, and ink, 14 x 60 x 30 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard wolf bust

“Were Wulf” (2007), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 25 x 25 x 34 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard horse bust

“Horse” (2012), archival cardboard, dry screws, glue, ink, and pencil markings, 46 x 64 x 15 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard wolf bust

Detail of “Were Wulf” (2007), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 25 x 25 x 34 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

Scott Fife's sculptures in a gallery

Photo by Traver Gallery

 

 

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Art Craft

A Cast of Articulate Cardboard Robots Populate a Growing Sci-Fi Universe Crafted by Greg Olijnyk

September 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters. All images by Griffin Simm, © Greg Olijnyk, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Greg Olijnyk continues to add to his troupe of sci-fi robots crafted from cardboard, LED lights, and glass details. The elaborately constructed characters are fully articulate and populate an ever-expanding futuristic world that’s slightly dystopic and always filled with adventure. His latest creations also include a nod to art history, with a sculptural interpretation of M.C. Escher’s stairs that features tiny robots within the mind-bending cube.

For a glimpse into Olijnyk’s process and to keep up with his works steeped in fantasy, head to Instagram.

 

“Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

Detail of “Neil,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass domes, 48 centimeters

“Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

Detail of “Escher Cube,” cardboard, 50 square centimeters

“Prototype 1,” cardboard, LED lighting, glass tubes and lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

“Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

Detail of “Prototype 2,” cardboard, LED lighting, and glass lenses, 45 centimeters

 

 



Art

The Cardboard Sculptures of Artist Warren King Are an Homage to His Chinese Heritage

July 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Xuanzang.” Photo by Jón Prospero. All images © Warren King, shared with permission

Artist Warren King (previously) finds much of his inspiration by wandering through Chinatown in New York City, where he encounters “street musicians, chess players in Columbus Park, vegetable sellers, knockoff handbag vendors on Canal Street, lion dancers during Chinese New Year celebrations,” he tells Colossal. “I’ve been fascinated during my weekly grocery shopping trips by the vibrant, diverse community there, which is so different from the relatively homogenous suburbs where I grew up.”

These passersby become the initial inspiration for the artist’s figurative cardboard sculptures, which consider his Chinese heritage, his parent’s immigration, and what it means to hold a diasporic identity. Ribbed with subtle corrugation and coated in dark neutral tones, the works vary in scale, although many are life-sized and large enough to occupy public benches and galleries. Each piece is an homage both to those he observes and to the richness of the Chinese community.

 

Detail of “The Wu Dan Answers the Call.” Photo by Satoshi Kobayashi

In addition to his ongoing Chinatown series, King’s recent works also include a few pieces of more personal relevance, including “Xuanzang.” The stoic character is based on the 7th Century monk by the same name who trekked 10,000 miles into India to recover Buddhist texts and inspired the classic novel, Journey to the West. “I used to be an avid backpacker and made a few life-defining treks myself,” the artist shares. “And I’m a book nerd too, so Xuanzang is naturally kind of an idol for me.”

The elaborately armored piece titled “The Wu Dan Answers the Call” similarly contextualizes King’s background within a broader history. “I wanted to tell the story of my feisty grandmother, who as a young woman tried to enlist in the bloody fight against the Japanese. But the piece is a mashup of a character from Chinese opera and Donatello’s famous sculpture of David, which reflects the two lenses through which I view the story,” he says.

King is currently working on an installation centered on the idea of preserving narratives and family legacies. That work is slated for February 2023 at Pearl River Mart in Soho, and you can follow its progress on Instagram.

 

“Xuanzang.” Photo by Jón Prospero

Detail of “Xuanzang.” Photo by Jón Prospero

“Lion Dancer” (2020). Photo by Jón Prospero

“The Wu Dan Answers the Call.” Photo by Satoshi Kobayashi

“Chess Players” (2020). Photo by Jón Prospero

 

 



Animation Illustration

Peeled Cardboard Adds Corrugated Dimension to Javier Pérez’s Clever Illustrations

March 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Javier Pérez, shared with permission

Ecuadorian illustrator Javier Pérez (previously) is known for transforming humble materials into minimal drawings brimming with his distinct sense of wit and whimsy. His latest set of experiments peels back the top layer of corrugated cardboard and uses the hidden, textured grooves to define a sailor’s striped shirt, dog’s shaggy fur, or a thick beard pre-shave. A mix of stop-motion animations and illustrations, the series turns simple lines and everyday items into playful scenarios.

Based in Guayaquil, Pérez offers prints of his clever creations through Society6, and you can find more of his works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Monumental Cardboard Bridges Float in the Sky in Temporary Installations by Olivier Grossetête

July 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

Architecture en Fête, Villeneuve lez Avignon, France (2015). All images © Olivier Grossetête, shared with permission

Temporarily seen hovering above small European towns or balancing on a river in floating canoes are elaborate bridges designed to be constructed and demolished in a matter of days. The ongoing work of Olivier Grossetête, the cardboard-and-tape pieces are entirely hand-built by the French artist and local residents. Each ephemeral installation, which Grossetête refers to as “utopian building(s), temporary and useless,” appears for only a day or two before it’s taken down and the public is asked to stomp on and destroy the cardboard. “This is an integral part of the project,” the artist says in a statement. “This symbolic moment is fun.” While they’re on display, the architectural works are often tethered between hot air balloons and existing buildings, which makes them appear dream-like as they float above the urban landscape.

Grossetête has been utilizing the cheap, flexible material for more than ten years because it’s easy to manipulate, allowing the installations to spring up and be removed relatively quickly. “Despite its appearance, it has quite extraordinary capacities and is very light. It doesn’t scare anyone, and it allows me to open my practice to the greatest number of people,” he says, explaining that it’s also emblematic of cultural signifiers. “It is the symbol of the false and of the appearance! I like to make this parallel between architecture, an instrument of power, and the false, the appearance.”

Currently living in Jausiers in the Alpes de Hautes Provences, Grossetête is headed to 23 Milhas in Ílhavo, Portugal for his next installation, which will be up from July 31 to August 1. You can explore more than a decade of his works on his site.

 

“Monkey Bridge,” Japanese Garden of Tattonpark Biennale

Mantuano/French Embassy in Rome

Festival de l’Oh, Champigny, France (2015)

Mantuano/French Embassy in Rome

Pont Landerneau, France (2016)

Amboise, France Cultural Season of Amboise

 

 



Art Craft

New Articulate Cardboard Sculptures by Greg Olijnyk Populate Miniature Worlds of Fantasy and Science Fiction

May 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

“DvG 2.0.” All images by Griffin Simm, © Greg Olijnyk, shared with permission

An eerie pair of buildings, a jet-powered dragonfly, and a sci-fi-inspired retelling of David and Goliath complete with an oversized robot and samurai comprise the latest cardboard sculptures by Greg Olijnyk (previously). Fully articulate and outfitted with LED lights and glass where necessary, the extraordinarily detailed works are futuristic, slightly dystopic, and part of larger world-building narratives. The architectural constructions, for example, are “the start of a series of pieces exploring the fear, fascination, and curiosity aroused by the stranger in our midst. The weird presence out of place. The building of unknown purpose with no windows and with lights flickering at night,” he says. “What’s going on in there?”

Olijnyk is based in Melbourne and shares works-in-progress and more photos of the machine-like sculptures shown here on his Instagram.

 

“DvG 2.0”

Detail of “DvG 2.0”

“Dragonfly Bot”

“The New Neighbours,” 80 x 75 x 30 centimeters

“The New Neighbours,” 80 x 75 x 30 centimeters

Detail of “The New Neighbours,” 80 x 75 x 30 centimeters

Detail of “Dragonfly Bot”

“Dragonfly Bot”