What does a blank sheet of paper evoke when you’re looking at it? Plainness? Flatness? Lifelessness? Canadian artist Calvin Nicholls combines two things he is passionate about – art and the wildlife of his homeland – to give a whole new life to paper and create incredibly intricate sculptures out of it. He adds a sense of liveliness to this material by meticulously cutting every microscopic detail of feathers and hair. The artist proves that skillful hands can put a lot of character and oomph in paper turning plain sheets into warm peaceful pandas, noble eagles, magnificent sleepy bears, cautious foxes, majestic tropical birds that look strikingly realistic, as if they are about to come alive.
Calvin’s paper zoo is an exquisite bridge between two artistic
universes – two-dimensional flat paper is made to convey an illusion of three-dimensional reality when the artist meticulously cuts it with X-Acto knives, scalpels and scissors, and then carefully glues and layers tiny pieces over each other. In sculpture, such a combination of the two-dimensional pictorial arts and the three-dimensional sculptural forms is called high relief. When a handiwork is complete, proper lightning is adjusted to bring out the subtle form and exquisite texture. This is how magic happens. The multi-layered sculptures look so flawless that it’s hard to fathom how it’s possible that it takes the artist only four weeks to finish each one. However, it took him almost two years to create the most complex masterpieces.
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