Origami is an ancient Japanese art of folding paper and making it into sculptures. It evolved from butterflies on the Japanesse wedding ceremonies and napkin sculptures on renaissance Italy’s dinner tables to legitimate art form recognized all over the world. The first man who set standards for modern origami was Akira Yoshizawa, who was also the founder of the International Origami Center in Tokyo. Thanks to him every other kid today is able to create a paper plane or a hat (used when painting the apartment, for example).
There are some people who took the building of paper structures to a whole new level, and made a career out of it. Let’s take a tour through their lives and works.
1. Bert Simons was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He studied industrial design and graduated from the Design Academy Einhoven at the ”Man and Living” department.
He is famous for creating hyper-realistic paper portraits. He even made a portrait of a former mayor of Rotterdam, Ivo Opstelten. He makes his portraits by putting a lot of dots on the model’s head and, after that, he digitalizes it. Then, he does a reconstruction of the face on his computer and prints everything out. In the end he glues it all together to make a portrait. Here are some examples of his work:
2. Ingrid Siliakus is Dutch artist living in Amsterdam. She folds paper by rebuilding some of the world’s most astonishing architectural wonders, as well as some of her own designs. She was introduced to this art form by the founder himself, her professor and a famous Japanese architect Masahiro Chatani. As her influences, she refers to the works of Berlagi and Gaudi.
She creates her masterpieces by using only one sheet of paper for each object she makes, and she never misses a single detail.
Ingrid exhibits her art all across the Europe and USA.
3. Brian Dettmer is an American artist born and raised in Naperville, Illinois. He graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a BA in fine arts. He transforms old books, tapes and maps into masterpieces. He is famous for his book autopsies. He uses knives, tweezers and all sorts of surgical tools to carve something into books and he creates complex three-dimensional sculptures. Using these methods he makes his own versions of old dictionaries and encyclopedias.
If anyone thinks cassette tapes are useless nowadays, he or she should think twice, because this particular artist melted them and used them to make a perfect copy of a human skeleton. His work has been exhibited in many famous art galleries worldwide including MiTO in Barcelona, Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago and SALTWORKS in Atlanta.
4. Junior Fritz Jacquet is very unusual French artist. Even though he uses cardboard to build his sculptures, thinking outside the box comes very natural to this young man. He is a self taught artist with a really unique style: he uses tubes of toilet paper to make human faces (this tells you something about his philanthropy). The material he uses is often being thrown away, but his art is anything but disposable. He is a well respected member of the paper-folding art society and, every year, he participates in the Master Of Origami, the most prestigious international origami meeting.
5. Jozef Sumichrast is an American based sculptor who didn’t really find any use for conventional materials, so he decided to buy his material from hardware stores and building supply centers. His work is always challenging the physics of third (and forth) dimensional space. His sculptures can be bent or twisted because of his great interest in showing the viewer different angles of perception. His work is always a personal statement which reveals everything, and keeps it a secret at the same time.
He exhibits his work all across the USA, and he has won many prestigious awards for his work including the Illinois Arts Council, the Grant for Visual Arts and the bronze medal at the International Art Exhibition, Nicosya, Cyprus.
These artists, together, present to you the evolution of origami and every kind of paper folding, but they are not the only ones out there, so feel free to do a little web research of your own and I promise you that you will find it very enjoyable.
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