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Art

Artist JR Transforms the Louvre With a 2000-Piece Paper Optical Illusion

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images via @JRArt on Twitter

With the help of a small army of 400 volunteers, French artist JR (previously) pasted thousands of strips of paper around the Louvre in Paris, turning the courtyard around the museum into a massive optical illusion. Installed in honor of the structure’s 30th anniversary, the collage titled “The Secret of the Great Pyramid” provides a glimpse at what may lie beneath the iconic glass pyramid.

A follow-up to his 2016 work that made the museum disappear against the backdrop of the Louvre Palace, JR’s new illusion reveals a construction site with the tip of the pyramid at its center and a much larger structure extending down into a rocky quarry. In a “Photo of the Day” post on his website, the artist explains that the installation was designed to last a single weekend. “The images, like life, are ephemeral,” JR writes. “Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

Some visitors took pieces of the installation home, while other strips torn by foot traffic have been discarded. To see more of JR’s large-scale photo installations, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

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Art

Decorative Laser Cut Paper Compositions with Hand-Painted Ink by Julia Ibbini

March 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

United Emirates-based artist Julia Ibbini sources elements from Islamic geometry, embroidery, meenakari enamel work, and even electronic music to inspire the designs that compose her laser cut paper works. The complex patterns and layers of her colorful compositions are a metaphor for the artist’s multicultural background as a dual national from Jordan and the UK, and share elements of symbolism seen in the Middle East region. Ibbini uses computer algorithms to create digital designs  that she laser cuts onto paper. She then layers these detailed pieces and hand-paints them with ink in brilliant shades of pink, blue, yellow, and orange. Her solo exhibition The Sublime Line opens April 3, 2019 at Jonathan LeVine Projects and runs through May 3, 2019. You can see more of her detailed compositions on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Handcut Paper Models by Seba Naranjo Welcome Dinosaurs Back From Extinction

March 23, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Seba Naranjo

Inspired and informed by the work that paleontologists have done over the past few decades, Chile-based artist Seba Naranjo designs and builds 3D paper models of dinosaurs for a project called Khartosauria. Through careful planning, cutting, and folding, he forms fun and expressive sculptures that roam desks and table tops the way their organic counterparts did millions of years ago.

With a background in graphic design and children’s illustration, Naranjo tells Colossal that his fascination with dinosaurs and paper started when he was just a kid playing in the printing shop where his mother worked. After honing his skills significantly over the years, Naranjo now spends upwards of 20 hours a week cutting and constructing figures such as a red and beige Styracosaurus, multi-colored mini Dromaeosaur, and an elegant Apatosaurus.

Model kits complete with scientific biographies and instructions for building are available online. Follow Naranjo’s experimentation process and see more of his creations by following the dino-enthusiast on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Swirling Three-Dimensional Script by Designer Alia Bright

March 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images provided by Alia Bright

All images provided by Alia Bright

Portland-based designer Alia Bright creates interlocking text with bright gradient patterns that combine her background in illustration, fine art, and graphic design. The looping letters are formed from paper and glue, and are created with several different weights and stocks to add a visual texture to the graphic presentation. For Bright, the trick to a successful work is finding the sweet spot where the three-dimensional aspect of the paper highlights the lettering, and vice versa. “I feel a piece is successful when I achieve this, which requires a lot of restraint,” she explains to Colossal. I try to maintain the right level of stylistic simplicity while still creating visual interest through color, pattern, and shadows.” You can see more of Bright’s paper text on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Illustration

Paper Illustrations and GIFs Explore the Body and Mind in New Work by Eiko Ojala

March 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation for "Life After a hear Attack at Age 38"

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation for “Life After a hear Attack at Age 38”

New Zealand and Estonia-based illustrator Eiko Ojala (previously) creates cut paper illustrations that present shadow and depth through creative layering of colorful pieces of paper. Recently, his editorial illustrations have been focused on the mind and body, like a cut paper GIF he created for a story on heart attacks in the New York Times. Others, like two Washington Post illustrations, attempt to uncover the thoughts and feelings sequestered in children’s minds by layering images inside the shape of a boy’s profile. You can see more of Ojala’s designs on his Instagram and Behance.

Washington Post cover illustration for "Kids Special."

Washington Post cover illustration for “Kids Special.”

New York Times Sunday Review illustration for "I Did a Terrible Thing. I Needed to Apologize".

New York Times Sunday Review illustration for “I Did a Terrible Thing. I Needed to Apologize.”

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation and spot illustration for "Life After a hear Attack at Age 38"

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation and spot illustration for “Life After a hear Attack at Age 38”

 

New Yorker illustrations for "Literary Hoaxes and the Ethics of Authorship."

New Yorker illustrations for “Literary Hoaxes and the Ethics of Authorship.”

Washington Post cover illustration for "Kids Special."

Washington Post cover illustration for “Kids Special.”

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation and spot illustration for "Life After a hear Attack at Age 38"

New York Times Sunday Review cover, animation and spot illustration for “Life After a hear Attack at Age 38”

 

 



Artist Maude White Counts on Squarespace to Showcase Her Stunning Papercut Artworks

February 5, 2019

Colossal

Photos by Maude White unless otherwise noted

Artist and self-described craftsperson Maude White (previously) captures gentle moments of beauty and grace in her meticulously detailed paper cut artworks. White has worked in paper for the last several years, first exploring her signature medium with simple silhouettes and popup books. The New York-based artist now focuses on the organic forms of female portraits, flowers, and birds. “Every piece I create has its own identity,” White explains. “The knife, and me, and the paper are all in a dialog together, all talking and getting along. The last thing I do is cut it out of the surrounding paper. It comes alive, or is born, and we meet each other for the first time. It’s a completely living thing apart from me.” 

“When I first started cutting paper it was not a career,” White explains to Colossal. “That’s really the way to approach anything, to do it for the joy of it and use it as a way to learn.” By sharing her work online with a Squarespace portfolio site, the self-taught artist has been able to reach a worldwide audience and find success. In addition to her gallery-ready original papercuts, White has partnered with Abrams Books and Paralax Press to release two books—Leading with Love and Brave Birds—that bring her artwork and message of uplift to life.

She shares that the methodical and meditative practice of cutting paper has been a healthy way to express her desire for order and control. In shaping her online presence as an in-demand artist, White explains that it’s very important to her to share this sense of safety and wellbeing with others: “I like all of my work to be comforting or a safe space. Beauty is a form of love. Creating something beautiful allows people to experience love when they look at it.”

White shares that creating her website on Squarespace allows her to feel assured that her website stands up to the finesse of her artwork. “I like things to look the same, flow together, and stay consistent. I love black and white. I like having control and knowing exactly what i’m looking at and what i’m going to get, and it’s always going to look beautiful.”

Ready to set your portfolio site apart? Head to Squarespace.com for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, use the offer code COLOSSAL to save 10% off your first purchase.

Photograph by Laura Glazer; hand-cut paper by Maude White; reproduced from Brave Birds, Abrams Image, 2018

AdvertisementThis post was sponsored by Squarespace.

 

 



Art

An Interpretation of the Body’s Circulatory System in Hand Cut Paper by Andy Singleton

January 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Anatomic” by paper artist Andy Singleton (previously) is an intricate journey through the body’s interior systems. For the work, the artist used three different hues of paper—bright red, burgundy, and powder blue—to distinguish the elaborate structural networks that are formed from its arteries and veins, kidneys, lungs, and heart. Although each individual piece of paper is two-dimensional, the suspended work is composed of scored and shaped segments that suggest volume and more lifelike appearance. “Anatomic” was displayed in 2015 as part of a three-person popup show, Nude Not Naked, with Richard Sweeney (previously) and Richard Wheater at Hawkeye Crates in Brooklyn, New York. You can see more of Singleton’s finished and in-progress work on Instagram.

 

 

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