This is a music video I made for the band Darlingside's song God of Loss. The video is a story told in stop-motion paper-cuts and shadow puppetry. It's a small labor of love; I hope you enjoy it.
The video launched on NPR with a write-up by Bob Boilen, who wrote: "I have found myself watching and re-watching this video over and over since I first saw it. It takes a simple idea — a story that unfolds via paper cut with an X-Acto knife and backlit to create intricate and stunning silhouettes — and shapes it into something that honestly feels divine."
You can read the whole piece HERE.
I cut reams of black paper with a bevy of blades and burn through a lot of cutting mats.
Check out the stop-motion footage below some larger pieces of some of the larger pieces being cut.
Here is my work for musicians Skye Steele, Myk Freedman, and for the band Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble (for the last piece, the is art by me, and the album design by Ilusha Tsinadze).
This is a piece from a video project which has been put on the shelf for the moment. I worked on this composition with filmmaker Alexander Engel.
I was commissioned to make this piece by the musician Skye Steele. The phrase in the image is a lyric from his album Up from the Bitterroot. The actual paper-cut is 48"x72", though we reproduce the image as 14"x21" prints.
The Odyssey if the Ear is a stop-motion video about hearing, neuroscience, and a band of musicians who journey through the auditory system process. It was commissioned by HarvardX, and will be coming out in early November.
While working at an art residency at the Textile Arts Center Manhattan location in July, 2015, I wanted to make a piece while thinking about textile patterns and fashion. What I found was Our Lady of Sideboob. Worship services at her paper-cut altar are daily. All are welcome.
Robinson and Rohe are a folk duo, and close friends. They have toured with my shadow puppet shows as musicians and performers, and I have produced artwork for their various projects over the years. The most recent has been a six-foot tall paper-cut light-box triptych, which serves as there backdrop to their live performances as they tour their album, The Longest Winter. They tour this music project every December. Find them here. Also, we make and sell greetings cards every year with the images from this paper-cuts, which you can find here.
This series is a winter triptych. The three subjects are: the Nativity (Christmas), the Winter Solstice, and, in secular fashion, Feasting (and Being Together). These are all six-foot paper-cuts that tour as a light-box backdrop with the touring musician due, Robinson and Rohe. The images are also available as greeting cards here.
This piece is part of an on-going series in which I make portraits of my collaborators in Tarot-card style. This portrait is of a wonderful British clown named Francesa (Chez) Dunford, who played the angelic herald in our shadow puppet show Three Smart Men. The word 'angel' comes from the Greek word for 'messenger'. I thought it was fitting that a messenger from beyond could simultaneously be both a lofty, heavenly seraph, and a lowly, ridiculous, cushy-nosed clown.
Here are photos from two installations.
The first series was taken at my 2015 residency at Textile Art Center in Manhattan. I made a temporary studio in the window front, and cut paper on my cutting-board wall. Working in a window front on a busy Manhattan street, my process and I were visible to the public, like an animal pacing behind bars at the zoo.
The second installation was a show of my work, mostly light boxes and wheat-pastes on wood panels, that was installed at Littlefield, Brooklyn, in January, 2015.
Here are some letter-pressed business cards that I've designed. Also on view is the largest and most impressive business card you could ever give to somebody at a party.
I got started on paper-cutting through making puppets for my shadow puppet shows. Here you can see a gallery of a lot of early puppets, as well as two full 'crankies'. Crankies were invented by Peter Schumann of Bread and Puppet, and are essentially performative scrolls that you unwind (or crank) as you tell a story. My crankies are black paper-cuts affixed to a translucent paper scroll, and are illuminated from behind; they are like glowing, moving, picture books. Here, you can click through two full shows.
These are past compositions for a future project based on Norse myth.
I've done a number of projects with the Textile Arts Center. Here you can see a calendar for their natural dye program, Sowing Seeds, as well as teaching tool that shows you the steps in the process of naturally dying with indigo.
Why not buy some greeting cards, and send some dear ones a beautiful note inside with a lovely image on the outside?
Find them here.
I've use paper-cuts to make screen-prints. Find them here.
I came to paper-cutting through shadow puppetry, and with that came this form of using paper-cuts to make light-boxes. I affix black paper to translucent tyvek paper.
I teach classes through the Textile Arts Center.
When I make stop-motion videos, I use the same basic set-up that Lotte Reiniger (the creator of the first animated feature of all time) used in the 1920's. I use a multi-plane rig, with camera pointed straight down, and lit from underneath. The only difference is the software, Dragonframe. Which I guess is a huge difference. Needless to say, Lotte must have been very patient.
From sketch and source to design and paper-cut. All in the immortal GIF format.
More of this is on the way.
More. More. We always want more.
In collaboration with Tin Can Studios, these paper bugs have been seen at events in Brooklyn, and even featured in Martha Stewart magazine.
All the paper-cuts that aren't fit to print elsewhere.