Ryuta Iida is a Japanese artist who cuts out thick volumes of paper [i.e. magazines and books] to form sculptural objects. I had only seen this done once before by the artist Tim Hawkinson at his solo LACMA exhibit in 2005 and it has boggled me ever since. So, I was thrilled to find out about Ryuta, who is picking up where Hawkinson left off and doing it in their own way. Whereas instead of taking personal photos of themselves to cut into, Ryuta uses popular magazines, thus adding an element of pop culture to their practice. (via)
I felt like I was peering into Debra Scacco’s personal journals as I walked around her exhibit BIRDS OF PASSAGE at Marine Contemporary. Her large and small works on paper feature her solid penmanship, which she glides across the surface into geographical formations like States and Countries. “I Cannot Reach You” and “Hold Me” are just a couple of the repeated lines running throughout their corresponding paintings and although this may sound strange, there is almost a psychic connection between the viewer and the work that gives off the feeling of the syntax without actually having to read it. So, even if Debra wrote them in Itallian and I don’t speak or read Itallian, I would still be able to grasp the emotion trying to reach out for me. These are elegant and beautiful works that can take months and months to complete, especially the installation in the center of the room where she had to glue over 1000 golden pins together to form what looks like a map of all the pieces in the show combined onto one plane.
Rebecca Manson, one of the current sculptors in residence at Cal State University Long Bech [CSULB], told me I had to drive out to the campus to see what Christopher Miller was working on in his studio. So, with my full trust in her hands, I took the hour long and then some drive from Los Angeles to Long Beach to scope it out. And when I got to Miller’s studio I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It was a painting machine, but one made out of organic materials like bamboo instead of steel, with markers hanging from strings stretched 5 ft high. The whole thing was powered by several fans that would cause the pens to sway back and forth across a massive sheet of paper, which was taped to the ground. Christopher then had various obstacles placed around his painting surface that the pen could work around. For instance, there was one sculpture composed of about 50 triangles that restricted the motion of the pen as well as one of Rebecca’s ceramic pieces that blocked out certain areas of the paper to create an ever -evolving, uniquely beautiful, and chaotic masterpiece. I especially love how you can really feel the heart of Christopher’s piece when you see it in person, since every single element is either hand painted or constructed. Even the strings that are holding the pens have little paper accessories attached to them, which remind me of tie-died Mondrian mobiles. Christopher is still working on this particular sculpture and can always use donations of various painting supplies like inks and markers to help progress the work. If you’re interested in helping him out, you can send him a direct email at Chrismmiller[at]hotmail[dot]com. Watch a video of the piece in action after the jump.
Bea Szenfeld is an outstanding, innovative designer based in Sweden who creates theatrical fashion shows featuring her designs. Her recent collection “Sur la Plage” a continuation off of her earlier work “Paper Dolls,” features 12 hand-made designs that was inspired off of a sea-side folklore of seamen. If you are not familiar with Bea Szenfeld’s work, you may be amazed to know that (just the same as Paper Dolls) this collection is constructed entirely out of paper. Handmade, entirely out of paper, and held together by the process of gluing, sewing, and pleating.
The people of the United States alone toss out millions of plastic bottles every hour, and in a year, enough plastic film to shrink wrap Texas (which would be both a hilarious and horrifying feat.) Everyone knows it’s important to recycle, but it’s often hard to realize the consequences of forgetting about one little bottle; maybe we should consider not buying this stuff in the first place. (I drink out of the tap all the time, heck, I’d drink out of the hose.) Without getting on a soapbox, the following artists have made powerful statements about the ways in which we waste…. by re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, and removing paper and plastics completely from the recycling loop…. as even the act of recycling uses massive amounts of energy.
You might have already read our series on food artists. B/D has decided to feature another 3-part series on cut paper artists! The art of paper-cutting evolved from the traditional Chinese craft, stretching back to the 6th century. Today, contemporary paper artists have pushed this art-form into focus once again. Armed with their X-Acto knives, (and nail scissors?), these artists have redefined the meaning of intricate. (Some actually believing they’ve only completed a day’s work once their hands shake with fatigue, waking up sore the next morning!) Though it can be frail, finicky, and prone to tearing, their choice of medium is deliberate; they’ve claimed paper as a way of using an ordinary material to express themselves in unconventional ways. Check out the three cut paper artists of the day!