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Obsess Over Everything

Posts tagged paper sculpture

So for the rest of the summer, I’ll be living in Taos, New Mexico during my residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.  I’ve been here about a week and all I can say is that my life has already changed in that short period of time.  My health has been bad since past August, which as many of you know has forced me to stop making artwork and exhibiting.  Since I arrived, I don’t stop sketching out ideas in my notebook or writing down subjects that interest me about the Spanish and Native cultural influence in the town.  I came here with the intention of creating spiritually themed work in performance as well as outdoor sculptures involving papercutting, and I cannot wait to share photos throughout my stay so keep checking back!

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So I recently was in a group show with some of my good friends for my last show in Pittsburgh, PA before I head off to grad school at CCA.  It was especially important to me since I had my first major exhibition at Unsmoke Art Systems, and here I was again three years later for my last.  Unfortunately I ran into a lot of health problems during install so I wasn’t on my top game, but I’m glad to say the work came out exactly as I had hoped.  In the end, a total success!  I am eternally thankful for friends and family who helped me with this install.  _DSC1554 _DSC1558 _DSC1563 _DSC1565 _DSC1568 _DSC1571 _DSC1572 _DSC1575 _DSC1579 _DSC1582 _DSC1585 _DSC1590 _DSC1591 _DSC1599

Last year, I was contacted by SF MOMA to do a special, site specific installation to hang inside of the newly renovated Square Offices in downtown San Francisco.  At first they wanted to know what I had available in inventory, but I had nothing at that moment left to give.  Then, I was told about a special wall they had in mind that had an enormous amount of light and extra high ceilings.  Obviously I was in love, so within 5 days I cut something special and was ready to install!

Here is the result- materials are handcut sketch paper and gold ink.  That’s it!  I was inspired by hanging plants and the landscapes in Oakland, CA in terms of imagery.

 

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It’s all about the details for me in papercutting.  When you’re making work like mine, that’s so repetitive and consists of mostly one, patterned image, you must get detailed in order to give your viewer some surprises.  In my latest installation, Vascular Caverns, I created my largest papercut work yet: a largescale installation that formed a cavern comprised entirely of handcut paper.  It took the longest, but was one of the shortest installations thanks to a solid month of prep!  Once it was up on the wall, I ended up cutting out more and more pieces just to give that extra touch.  So, for all you type A personalities and detail oriented creators, I have posted detail photos of the installation!  Have fun detail hunting!

 

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New piece I installed this past week into the Mine Factory for the show “I Just Want the Paper,” curated by Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi.  For this piece, I handcut rice paper and added in details with graphite.  Normally, I’m adding wax, burning paper, or adding a jumble of processes into the sculpture.  But this time it was just me, my knife, and the paper.  Relaxing.  A relief, actually.  It was as though I was challenging myself to get back to papercutting basics.

Even more of a challenge was examining the space and adapting the piece to it.  Install week was renamed papercutting week in my book since I had to make an extra 400 cutouts in 48 hours.  And this is the final product!

Things this month have been absolutely amazing and absolutely busy! I am proud to announce that I am the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 VSA Young Emerging Artist Program with the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.! This year’s theme was “The Journey,” and prompted artists to submit their work that concerned their own personal journeys living with a disability. With this award, my piece is exhibited in the Smithsonian in Washington, it is also part of a nationally traveling exhibition, and I receive a cash prize of $20,000. I have been invited, along with the other 14 winners, to attend a Congressional Reception in January so I’m already starting to plan my outfit! I am extremely honored to be receiving this award and am so excited to see what this next year holds for me.1622843_10152345255192694_5115025851877106456_n

My winning papercut sculpture, Never Stopping, deals with my experiences as a heart transplant recipient, specifically the overwhelming feelings related to my physical issues as well as the desire for healing. The entire original sculpture is about 16 ft in height and is made entirely of handcut paper. I also added screenprinted cutouts of hands, legs, oranges, and bananas. These symbolize offerings and milagros, or physical representations of intentions. The idea behind it was for the viewer to become overwhelmed with the structure, in order to mimic my own feelings. For the Kennedy Center, I brought the piece down to a smaller scale, which you can see in the photo.me

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My transplant is a major part of my life, and I am open to any questions readers might have. I received my heart at the age of 14 months at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. That transplant team became my family, and I am always going back every now and then to visit. They still follow up with me and my procedure results even though I have switched to the cardiology team at UPMC Children’s Hospital. Right now, I still have my original heart making my transplant one of the oldest single organ transplants in the country.

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For all of you Latinos out there- this post is for you.  Being out here, on a ranch, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but Americans everywhere…. well let me just say that I’m starting to miss Miami.  So I made a piece that plays homage to one of my homes…  This is an idea that I’ve had for some time.  I wanted to do it in wood but need a scroll saw to do so.  I don’t have that.  I have paper, so paper it is.  The mangos are watercolor and so are the leaves.  The rest are cutouts that are covered in gold leaf.  _DSC0667 _DSC0668 _DSC0671 _DSC0673 _DSC0676

Yeah, I put it on my arm.  I saw it on Instagram today and decided to do it.  I painted one of my designs right onto my arm and there it stayed.  Wish it was permanent.  _DSC0677 _DSC0679 _DSC0680

 

 

 

These are all pieces of work that I made this past summer.  I’ve always had this gigantically huge fascination with glass domes and the specimens inside.  Kind of makes me think of those labs in the movies that the old explorers had.  Collections and displays of all the treasures and objects collected over time… all on display.  These are a little darker than that.  They represent something more sinister: a biological moment frozen in time.  Hope you like them!  All of these are still in my possession and are for sale if interested!

Media:  Most of these are made with bones (that I found).  Hey, apparently in Wyoming it’s a common thing to be walking and find some animal’s entire in-tact skeleton.  Being the unique person that I am, I naturally went on an expedition for three days collecting as many as possible.  It’s led me to make all of these lovely pieces that I’m so fond of.  Making them is something really special because I’m handing the bone, an organic material, with my anatomical papercutouts, the fictitious organic.  After I make a cutout (by hand!  no lasers for me) I usually burn the edges. Then, I dip each piece in beeswax.  From there, the pieces get added together with wax, wires, and in this case cotton.
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