Paper is a fine material for art and artists. It’s basically the first thing any kid is given to create art. Paper is used for almost everything in the world as well, however we’re moving to more of a paperless society not all different from people moving from using candles to light rooms to the electric light bulb. A lot of the artwork I do is print based so paper is oh so important for me to create my art and I get so many more choices out of it compared to regular canvas. Thus putting art onto paper is something very easy to do, but what about turning paper itself into art?
Peter Callesen is such a man who’s been turning the common A4 sheet of paper (8.3×11.7 in vs the letter standard of 8.5×11) in to little marvels of art. Not like the art of paper craft per-say but something a lot more than that. Instead of taking the easy route and having people make the instructions for creating the papercraft project, Peter Callesen often cuts out the shapes he wishes to leave in negative (or maybe positive space) and then will reshape that into the paper structure he needs.
If it’s not something very intensive and complex, then it’s a piece that’s done with some minimalist work and subtly (as seen in Big wave moving towards a small castle of sand, 2005)
His main work is also not entirely limited to the A4 size of paper. He has been known to use billboard sized sheets of paper to construct works both life-sized and larger than life. no doubt immense planning goes into all his works given the delicate nature of both paper and the attention to detail required.
However, Callesen has not limited himself to just paper works. His site also documents some of his other performance pieces and installation works, all worth taking a gander at beside what he’s done with paper.
If there’s any criticism to be had about his main paper works is that they are a bit limited in terms of thematic diversity. A majority of them seem to deal with death or destruction. Castles and skeletons also have a huge roll in the works he’s produced. It would be awesome if there was more diversity rather than an endless progressive of the same few themes. It’s a problem artists can find themselves running into with works that are grandiose on a personal scale (Hence why I’ve limited my Pigeon works to 10).
As a bonus here’s the ending to an Anime show called Eden of the East which uses a similar style to Callesen’s art.