No matter what the medium, artist Shanti Grumbine manipulates her work by slicing it into fractals of distorted imagery. In her series titled Looking Awry, she uses front-page images from the New York Times, and prints them in large format. She then cuts and divides the image into hundreds of smaller pieces and rearranges them before mounting the squares onto wooden dowel. Each square resembles a pixel, creating a strange mix of visual information since they are not placed in their original spot. This hodgepodge of colors and shapes are referencing a digital file that is corrupted, in which we can no longer see what is originally intended to visually display. Although altered and skewed, we can still make out some of the original image in Grumbine’s work. If you look closely, you can see a woman’s face or remnants of a human body. Grumbine explains her journey while creating her wall reliefs.
These wall reliefs become monuments to the untold levels of mediation between my creative acts and the rest of the world.
Much like digital files move across digital highways or frequencies, Grumbine’s work seems to travel across the composition in waves. As each cut out “pixel’ is mounted on a wooden dowel, the dowels are all different lengths, creating a wall relief. These varying levels, confronting the viewer, form a new textural and visual element. Further engaging the viewers are small, square mirrors that Grumbine integrates into each piece, replacing some of the “pixels.” Now, each captivating piece is not just reaching out at you in waves of visual complexities, but also include fractals of the viewer and its surroundings. You are now a part of the piece, a part of an endless source of aesthetic, digital information. A master at carving new meaning into different materials, this Brooklyn-based artist also has a series of incredibly detailed newspaper cut-outs titled Zeroing, also utilizes New York Times newspapers. New visuals are sliced into each word, and even a wall relief in the shape of an orb is formed from its text.
Artist Kim Rugg’s incredibly meticulous artwork consists of slicing up and breaking down everyday sources of information, like newspapers and maps. Dissecting newspapers, she rearranges the words and letters, creating a new depth of meaning. She often cuts the letters out and places them in alphabetical order, throwing the message in disarray. If these newspapers were real, they may cause panic and mayhem, as they disrupt our normal access to worldwide information. Can you imagine if even online news from all countries suddenly appeared as Rugg’s newspapers do? Both her surgically cut newspapers and transformed maps deconstruct society norms of information and the restrictions our culture has placed upon them, and therefore us as well.
This London-based artists slices up maps and pieces them together again backwards, or purposely arranging the once solid land mass in a way that fuses together all elements of land, border, and ocean. She also creates her maps by hand, erasing borderlines and geopolitical issues that are so relevant in today’s society. Her recreations of man-made territories display a new topography; a world with no boundaries, where we all can live with no territorial restrictions. Each carefully incision made forms a part of the whole, redirecting your view to its small details. Rugg’s complex work invited you to investigate the information laid out right in front of you that is often overlooked. Other work of her that require our close inspection to really understand her subtle manipulations include magazines, comic books, and even cereal boxes. Her work can be found at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, CA.
From Goldfinches to Rooks, artist Zack Mclaughlin creates sculptures of birds made from wood and paper, along with other mixed media. He pulls inspiration from the natural world when constructing his incredibly realistic feathered friends. Feeling a connection with each one of his birds, this labor-intensive task takes patience and skill, as the artist uses paper, a very delicate material, to create such amazing detail. Using wood for the base or body of the birds, paper lends itself to the light, airy nature of feathers. Paper is even thin enough to let light through, much like real feathers. Each feathery texture is hand cut to perfection by Mclaughlin, down to the tiniest feather, which you can see balancing on the tip of a finger.
Mclaughlin began his bird making journey when he was in the process of creating a children’s book in which the story starred a boy and a bird. Although he is also an illustrator, he sculpted the bird character in the story to better visualize his concept. He enjoyed this process and working with the materials so much, that he went on to make a huge variety of these detailed, complex feathered beings. Mclaughlin’s malleable medium choices allow him to get creative in his process. He can use different kinds of paper while creating the birds, which is why one of his birds has wings made from book pages, displaying words on each feather. His birds range in color, size, and type, which include a large, white owl all the way down to a tiny hummingbird. Mclaughlin also constructs these bird beauties into lighting and even mobiles. You can find his majestic birds on his Esty page. (via Bored Panda)
Akira Nagaya is a Japanese artist whose intricate cut-paper creations largely depict the beauty of nature. They are so skillfully done that you might be surprised to learn that Nagaya is self taught in paper-cutting, also known as kirie in Japan. He first discovered this type of art about 30 years while working at a sushi shop. There, he had to learn sasabaran, which is a technique used to create decorations by cutting slices into bamboo leaves. Nagaya found that he was naturally talented and enjoyed the process, too.
These small cut paper pieces fool the eye into thinking that they’re something like energetic pen sketches or decomposing leaves. The precise craft makes them appear as though they’ve been cut by machine, not by hand, because of the incredible, minuscule details.
Although the artist had been creating these pieces for years, it wasn’t until much later that his work was discovered. Eventually, he opened his own restaurant and displayed his kirie on the walls. A local newspaper came to write about the establishment, and while there remarked on his artwork. They encouraged him to show it in galleries, and you can follow Nagaya on Facebook to see his new cutouts. (Via Spoon and Tamago)
Paper artist Rogan Brown, featured previously here, finds an exquisite beauty in even the most deadly pathogens, of which he constructs astonishingly detailed replicas from thinly cut and layered paper. For Outbreak, he maps out a stunning typography of microbes, neurons, and human cells. Renowned for his fastidious process, Brown spends up to five months on a single piece, a true labor of love that serves as a testament to the reverence he holds for the organic world. Here, the smallest microcosms of the human body are expanded, made vivid and sparkling. In complex webs, they form an impressive interlocking network that is heartbreakingly delicate and fragile.
Where disease-causing pathogens and microbes are typically disparaged as unsavory or unclean, Brown’s masterful and unparalleled craft recreates them in dazzling white, like organic snowflakes possessing endless wonderment. In a fast-paced culture increasingly dominated by technology, Brown draws inspiration from the likes of the romantic poet William Blake, who married his love for the earth with a thirst for the divine and mysterious in nature. While he begins from scientific sketches by biologists like Ernst Haekel, the artist ultimately surrenders to the currents of his own imagination, allowing for the warmth of the human mind to color and transfigure the microscopic forms that make up our bodies. After all, isn’t our own evolution and living existence the most intricate and miraculous artwork of all? Take a look. (via Colossal)
Germany based Kuin Heuff paints portraits on paper which she then cuts up from the layers of paint into ornate lace-like structures. These intricate cuttings create a complex web of patterns that reference everything from anatomical drawings to woodcut prints. (via)
Eric Standley’s work is made out of hundreds (yes hundreds!) of sheets of paper that are laser cut with dense geometric patterns. Looking like 3D stained glass from far away, these layered images transport you to another time and place with their meditative quality. What’s most fascinating about Standley’s works are the areas where the paper floats over from one side to the other creating deep caverns with up to 3 inches of depth. (via visual news)
Owen Gildersleeve’s cut paper illustrations must take a million razor blades and lots of patience to create. From book covers to ads Owen swings his blade at cut paper with no fear creating ultra detailed imagery for you to feast your eyes on. The only question is whether his business cards are also hand cut one at a time. Now that would be intense!