Since the first photograph, photography has ushered forth in producing a consequential depiction of truths through the containment of fleeting moments in a tangible and archival format. Instances in time are revealed as light falls upon sensitized paper, asserting the presence of each photograph’s content. The picture plane remains uniform, constricted by its own variable, physical dimensions: a synthetic simulacrum of a three-dimensional reality that will forever remain in constant flux. And yet, in spite of presenting elements of proof based within reality, the upheaval of the actual authenticity of the photograph has found itself under siege.
Through a variety of executions, the following artists working with the photographic medium twist this truism in unique and awe-inspiring ways, abolishing preconceived notions of photography through a re-presentation of the photograph. In their reconsideration of the ordinarily static picture plane, form is pushed beyond the confines of the image through the destruction, manipulation or interference of the photograph.
It is difficult to believe that the astounding, realistic sculptures of husband and wife duo Allen and Patty Eckman are cast from paper. Inspired by cast paper techniques of mid-20th century Mexico, the couple has developed and trademarked a unique process called the Eckman Method®. Pouring paper pulp instead of bronze into silicone moulds, they are able to produce lightweight sculptures with an astonishing level of detail. Allen’s work centers on the history of the American West and Native American civilization, content that blends seamlessly with Patty’s focus on wild flora and fauna.
Allen, who himself is of Cherokee descent, seems to pick up where 19th century American bronze artists like Hermon Atkins MacNeil or James Earle Fraser left off. Echoing the sentiment of these early settlers to the West, Eckman portrays the vanishing Native American population with dignity and reverence. Many of their sculptures are colossal, looming above viewers with magnificent authority. Others are miniature, precious to behold. The Eckmans capture scenes both active and pastoral with equal attention to detail; the cowboy, blazing ahead on horseback, lasso in hand, is seen with as much clarity as the native American hunter, who rests for a moment with his equine companion, absorbing the sights of the natural world. Like living specimens of times and cultures too rarely recorded by history, mothers and children dance in historically-accurate clothing.
In their stunning visual work, the Eckmans are able to merge a new, innovative process with subject matter as timeless as our country, breathing new life into the cannon of work created by great American sculptures of the past. (via BeautifulLife) Read More >
The work of artist Caroline Attan examines how objects form a part of our memory and personal history and identity. By combining hand-written text with delicately folded, colored paper installations, Attan plays with separate ideas of poetry, text and form, each “that function as loaded repositories of the past.”
Installed with text written directly onto the wall and the origami-like paper notes arranged in circular patterns, the results are visually reminiscent of mandalas (which represent wholeness, inter-connectivity and an organized cosmic diagram) or the sacred geometry found in Islamic art, Attan illustrates poetic language, and at the same time, brings attention back to the beauty of the words.
Says the artist, “Tantalizing snatches of memories and desire revolve endlessly over collaged backgrounds, encouraging the viewer along multiple strands of thought. The technique allows for ingenuity and flexibility. Some compositions disrupt or loudly announce their text or subtexts, while others absorb them into a calm coherent whole.” (via myampgoesto11)
Joel Cooper crafts paper masks and geometric shapes using the technique of origami. Cooper’s intricate three dimensional masks are created with a large number of folds out of one sheet of paper. He alternates between bright and muted colors and matte and shiny sheets of paper that all appear earthy in tone. On some of his pieces, his wife has collaborated with him by using painting techniques to enrich color and texture. You can check out more of Cooper’s work on Flickr and purchase available designs via his Etsy shop. He lives in Kansas. (via design taxi)
Aleksandra Domanović deals with sculpture that echoes monuments from the past from her native (former) Yugoslavia. While some sculptures take on more traditional forms of post-Communist leaders, the Berlin-based artist also began experimenting with unique materials in her work. 19:30 Stacks was created by piling size A3 and A4 paper with photos printed on their sides with ink-jet printing. First creating a massive PDF file of a photo, Domanović set the printer to ‘border-less print’ setting, which coated the ends of each paper, and when stacked upon each other, revealed the finished image.
For a time this work was open-sourced so that anyone could make one for themselves by downloading the file (now broken), printing it out, and then placing it between 1500 empty pages on the top and bottom of the printed stack. According to her artist statement, Domanović’s “work focuses on profound social and media-technological transformations, and their interdependence. Some of her projects give form to the relationships of meaning imposed by archival models. Others suggest alternate models that draw on her observations of shared memory and feelings of community. Domanovic uses material related to her autobiography — the television, music, and monumental art of Yugoslavia — as well as materials that claim transcendence of the personal and national, such as Getty Images’ database of stock photography and (on the blog Vvork, which she co-edits) international contemporary art production.” (via u1u11)
Austrian artist, Aldo Tolino, creates sculptural objects out of printed photographs. The printed-photograph-turned-sculpture is then photographed, and the end ‘result’ is what you see here.
The folding techniques vary and so do the photographs; this is what makes the work interesting, as there are infinite number of permutations that will work for this purpose. The redundancy of the project is much like a philosophical argument, one that loops around and is at some point, unanswerable.
The fact that the folded photograph is photographed is also an interesting factor, as it creates and thought-provoking dialogue between both the precision and the inaccuracy that the medium of photography inherits through time.
Besides being an artist, Tolino is also a philosopher and he is currently working on a book project called Interferenz, which precisely deals with the themes explored here: paper, folding, image, object, sculpture, texture and recursion. (via IGNANT)
Alexis Facca is a Belgium-based paper artist and set designer, known previously as Paper Donut. He recreates everyday objects in paper, which are used in both his personal work and commercial endeavors, including animation. Facca’s paper sculpting is successful on a number of levels – his attention to detail and craft, the formal aspects like color and composition, and its ability to amuse and delight us. His work is memorable, which is especially important when working with advertising clients.
In addition to paper, Facca has recently composed compositions that use other materials like popcorn and barbecue skewers. He also includes metal grates and wood blocks, too. His better known works, however, are objects recreated from paper. This means he has constructed filing cabinets, copy machines, and large potted plants. He has created life-size breakfast foods, too, including angular fruit, donuts and eggs. Yum!
Zim & Zou are a French design studio created by Thibault Zimmermann and Lucie Thomas. In addition to paper sculptures, they also explore graphic design, illustration, and installation work. Rather than use a computer, the duo prefer to use paper to design and sculpt many of their images before photographing them. From a series entitled “Back to Basics,” these brightly sculpted electronic devices represent 80s and 90s nostalgia and employ color schemes that remind me of the Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Each item is meticulously sculpted to real-life size and shape dimensions and includes thoughtful details that give the appearance of full functionality. The use of paper to recreate outdated technological objects also confronts the current modern tension between print and digital media.
The duo told Don’t Panic, “…[A]t first sight it’s a tribute to vintage technologies which marked the technological evolution of the last years, and all the nostalgia of the memories that each have with them. By bringing those ‘dead’ objects back to life, we tried to highlight the very fast evolution of our everyday objects. The devices we use nowadays will, in a few years, be considered as relics too. We wanted to ask a question as well: where will this evolution lead us to?
What inspired us personally for this project are the original objects themselves. Every day we use some of those objects, such as the Polaroid camera and we often play Tetris on the original grey Gameboy.”
Their website has a gallery full of other paper sculpture designs, including paper birds, food, spaceships, and a Higgs Boson. You can watch a time-lapse video of their construction process here. (via unknown editors)