Making Paper

Art. Applied art. Selling out. Killing time. It’s all the same to me. Visual problem solving is something I’ve been doing all my life. Even the words I write are just a means to an end. An end that makes pictures in my mind.

I grew up making paper cut outs. Like most kids, it’s one of the first artistic expressions we’re taught in kinder. It’s slightly after, “here’s how to scribble,” “stay inside the lines,” and “don’t run with these.” Making cut outs made it easier for me to express myself. In fact, 14 years ago I made a cut out card for my now wife that officially started our relationship.

Trimming paper into shapes was my gateway to how I dress (patterns, architecture, draping) to what I do professionally (communications planning, idea visualization). Seeing the largest collection of Matisse cut-outs was like meeting my maker. Seeing how these flat objects were masterfully cutout, sometimes in a single stroke, other times in minuscule iteration. It’s like toggling the bezier on an anchor-point for what seems like minutes just to get your curves right. Something so small, inevitably something so much more.

How, what seemingly looks like child’s work, was a groundbreaking art direction of the time. This was 3D printing. This was perspective twisting, 4-dimensional wild style graffiti. This is a reminder to never take creativity for granted. There were teams of people helping assemble Matisse’s visions. Crafting. Editing. Drafting. Painstaking.

When some people see it, it’s just paper. When I see it, it’s papel.

Henrti Matisse, The Cut-Outs on display at MoMa until Feb 8 2015

File photo of an employee posing with Henri Matisse's artworks at the Tate Modern gallery in London


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