January 25th, 2008

Paper Cuts

My son sent me a link recently to a wonderful artist’s website, Peter Callesen. I find that I keep going back to look at it over and over and each time I “see” a little more. I think you will find it captivating. What initially caught my eye was that his works in paper have a similar graphic quality to the Modello designs that we cut from white vinyl but there is so much more here, of course, in the intent of the artist and the effect on the viewer. I find his work fascinating!

The bittersweet beauty of Alive, But Dead.




The magic of Impenetrable Castle.




The haunting feeling of immortality of Looking Back and Halfway Through.




The helplessness of Birds Trying to Escape Their Drawings.


All of these extraordinary artworks are created from ordinary pieces of common A4 paper. Peter writes on his website of his works in paper

My paper works have lately been based around an exploration of the relationship between two and three dimensionality. I find this materialization of a flat piece of paper into a 3D form almost as a magic process – or maybe one could call it obvious magic, because the process is obvious and the figures still stick to their origin, without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in most of the cuts. Some of the small paper cuts relate to a universe of fairy tales and romanticism, as for instance “Impenetrable Castle” inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, in which a tin soldier falls in love with a paper ballerina, living in a paper castle. Other paper cuts are small dramas in which small figures are lost within and threatened by the huge powerful nature. Others again are turning the inside out, or letting the front and the back of the paper meet – dealing with impossibility, illusions, and reflections.

I find the A4 sheet of paper interesting to work with, because it probably still is the most common and consumed media and format for carrying information today, and in that sense it is something very loaded. This means that we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By removing all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white 80gsm A4 paper as a base for my creations, I feel that I have found a material which, on one hand, we all are able to relate to, and which on the other hand is non-loaded and neutral and therefore easier to fill with different meanings. The thin white paper also gives the paper sculptures a fragility which underlines the tragic and romantic theme of the works.

One Response to “Paper Cuts”

  1. Thersa B Giffin Says:

    oh, the depth of heart and mind of an artist is really felt in this work.

    Thank you for sharing this with us,