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Craft

Elaborately Constructed Figures by 'People Too' Create a Cast of Quintessential Characters in Paper

September 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Nitro.” All images © People Too, shared with permission

If you ran into Nitro, Lotto, Sully, or the rest of their troupe on the street, it’d be easy enough to imagine their respective personalities and lifestyles: Nitro is the lax skateboarder who’s always in some state of disarray, Lotto the eccentric and elusive creative, and Sully the file-toting employee who spends her days sitting in meetings, optimizing her schedule, and adding tasks to her to-do list. Easily recognizable and maybe even uncomfortably relatable, the archetypal characters are the creations of artists Alexey Lyapunov and Lena Erlich, who are known for their illustrations and elaborate constructions made from paper.

The Novosibirsk, Russia-based duo works as People Too (previously), and originally designed the figurative sculptures for a now-postponed commission that would turn the paper models into animated characters. Head to Behance to see more of the series and to Society6 to shop prints of their illustrated works.

 

“Bills”

“Bills”

“Sully”

“Lotto”

“Ninka”

“Ninka”

“Ninka”

Left: “Esc.” Right: “André”

 

 



Art

Sprawling Paper-Pulp Mobiles by Yuko Nishikawa Suspend Whimsically Colored Pods in the Air

August 31, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Yuko Nishikawa, shared with permission

Hanging from the ceiling like candy-colored droplets, the paper-pulp mobiles by Yuko Nishikawa turn a stark gallery into a whimsical dreamscape. The Brooklyn-based artist fashions wide, sloping vessels and punctured rings from recycled packages, old diaries, sketches, and other waste materials, forming individual pods that attach to sprawling metal armature. Ephemeral in material and design, each piece is created with the intention that it will be unassembled and reverted back to its muddled form for resculpting.

With a background in ceramics, Nishikawa switched to paper last year because it’s lightweight, doesn’t require firing in electricity-dependent kilns, and is more durable once dry. The pastels and subtle hues she gravitates toward are inspired by the natural pigments of wool yarn, although she likens her process to mixing paints, saying:

I blended blue paper pulp and red paper pulp, and a bit of yellow paper pulp to make a muted purple paper clay. I combined them at their different blended stages, too ,to make varying textures and color effects. Mushy pulps would make homogeneous colors, while crumbly pulps would have a stippled effect. Finely blended pulps would become a smoother surface when dry, while coarser pulps would become bumpier like oatmeal cookies.

Designed as an invitation to imagine new ways of finding joy, Nishikawa’s works all derive from the idea of piku piku, “a Japanese onomatopoeia that describes involuntary movements caused by unexpected contact,” she writes. “I want my work to make you feel piku piku, tickling something deep down inside you.”

This fall, Nishikawa will open a solo show at Kishka Gallery & Library in White River Junction, Vermont, and will also have work at Main Window Dumbo. Some of her mobiles are currently available through Room68, where she’ll present a new collection later this year. Until then, see more of her pieces and works-in-progress on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design Food Illustration

Lifelike Sculptures by Diana Beltrán Herrera Recreate Flora and Fauna in Intricately Cut Paper

August 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Diana Beltrán Herrera, shared with permission

Colombian artist Diana Beltrán Herrera (previously) adds to her growing collection of intricate paper sculptures with new plant and animal life. From her studio in Bristol, the artist and designer recreates lifelike reproductions of turacos, monarchs, and various species with nearly perfect precision. Innumerable fringed strips become feathers, faint scores mimic delicate creases in petals, and layers of bright paper form brilliantly colored plumes, creating a colorful and diverse ecosystem of wildlife from around the world.

Prints, jigsaw puzzles, and cards are available in Beltrán Herrera’s shop, and you can see more of her recent commissions and personal projects on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Photography

Clever Paper Cutouts by Paperboyo Transform Architecture and Landmarks into Amusing Scenes

August 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Paperboyo, shared with permission

Rich McCor (aka Paperboyo) has a way of imagining the potential for quirkiness and whimsy in existing architecture. Using tourist attractions, landmarks, and urban settings as his backdrops, the Brighton-based artist and photographer (previously) dreams up amusing scenes that he fashions with precise angles and black paper cutouts: the Arc de Triomphe playfully morphs into a massive LEGO figure, an upside-down shot of Regent Street becomes a boat canal, and the King’s Place facade functions as individual swimming lanes. McCor tends to travel widely to photograph his temporary silhouettes, although he’s focused on local regions in recent months. The Netherlands, New York, and Taipei are next up on his list, so keep an eye on Instagram for dispatches from those spots and add one of the clever collages to your collection by picking up a print in the Paperboyo shop.

 

 

 



Art

An Eclectic Group Exhibition Brings Together Contemporary Interpretations of the Archetypal Vessel

July 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

CHIAOZZA, “Bouquet Sculpture No. 2” (2021), acrylic paint on paper pulp, 36 x 23 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission

A group exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco offers a new perspective on the enduring legacy of the vessel as both standalone object and motif. Spanning ceramic vases, oil-based works on canvas, and sculptures made of paper pulp, the show explores the myriad ways the ubiquitous container has appeared throughout art history and how two dozen artists working today interpret the classic form. Included are the minimal, ritualistic paintings by Laura Berger (previously), Stephanie Shih’s sleek Molotov cocktail inscribed with a strikingly hopeful message, and Katie Kimmel’s zany dogs. We’ve gathered some of our favorite works below, and stop by the gallery before Vessel closes on July 31 to see them in person.

 

Laura Berger, “Vessel 1” (2021), oil on canvas, 42 x 32 inches

Left: Munisa, “La bonga de la vida ‘Josefina'” (2021), clay, wire, and glaze, 18 x 11 x 6 inches. Right: Stephanie Shih, “Molotov Cocktail (A Better World Is Possible)” (2021), 10 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches

Leif Zikade, “Emergence” (2021), acrylic yarn, 24.5 x 16.5 inches

Hilda Palafox, “Cosecha” (2021), high temperature ceramics, 12 x 12 x 12 inches

Left: Katie Kimmel, “Nosferatu vase” (2021), ceramic, 13 x 7 x 3.4 inches. Right: Katie Kimmel, “Camelot vase” (2021), ceramic, 11 x 6 x 3.4 inches

Lorien Stern, “Ready for the Afterparty” (2021), ceramic, 14 x 14.25 x 8.5 inches

 

 



Art

Monumental Cut Paper Portraits Celebrate the Fundamental Importance of Community and Friendship

July 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Antonius Bui and Monique Meloche Gallery, shared with permission

Vietnamese-American artist Antonius Bui highlights the flexible, evolving nature of identity and the value of community through a series of unapologetically affectionate portraits. Elaborate hand-cut botanicals and geometric motifs envelop and give shape to Bui’s subjects, who include chosen and biological family members, friends, and colleagues. Painted in deep blue or inked in smaller spots to emit a warm glow, the pieces are monumental in scale—some extend upwards of 10 feet—and saturated with underlying stories that reveal themselves through smaller portraits and displays of domestic life embedded in the central image.

Continually focused on the power of narrative, Bui leaves gaps in the metaphorical, mesh-like works as a way to create space for more nuanced understandings of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, immigrant experiences, queerness, and the prevalence of false binaries. A child of Vietnamese refugees, they draw on their family’s heritage with “allusions to the spiritual significance of Joss paper, an incense paper used both to imitate value and as a form of blessings, position(ing) each work almost as an offering to honor queer communities,” a statement about the portraits says.

All of the works shown here are part of The Detour Is to Be Where We Are, which is on view through August 14 at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. You can find more of Bui’s intimate pieces on their site and Instagram.

 

Detail of “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 77 x 48 1/4 inches

Detail of “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches

Left: “I remember opening you into words, gently, with a single question” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 100 3/4 x 49 3/4 inches. Right: “for hunger is to give the body what it knows it cannot keep” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 120 x 61 inches

“theoriginalcalloutqueen” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 50 x 99 1/2 inches

Left: “When they move on, it’s just us” (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 34 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches. Right: “Vessel 4″ (2021), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, paint, 33 3/4 x 21 inches

“If I had the words to tell you we wouldn’t be here now” (2020), hand-cut paper, ink, pencil, 104 x 60 inches

 

 

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