If you want to see what a truly creative person can do with a simple sheet of paper and some scissors then you have to checkout an artist by the name of Peter Callesen. Callesen is a genius when it comes to visualizing what can become from an 8×11 piece of paper. Every cut not only goes towards making something imaginative, but the blank space that is left behind lends itself to the story and adds to the picture. What he is able to create is absolutely mesmerizing in the simplicity of the design and in others the complexity is awe-inspiring. You have to see it to believe it!
“Angel” – Peter Callesen was born in Denmark in 1967 and originally studied architecture in school.
“The End of the Road” – Callesen then switched to studying art at the Jutland Art Academy and afterward continued his education in art at Goldsmiths College in the UK.
“Distant Wish” – Callesen began his career with paintings, video, and performances before beginning his work with cardboard and paper.
“Mountain II” – Now Callesen focuses mainly on using A4 paper, which is your typical printer quality paper that will cost you around $13 for 500 sheets.
“White Hand” – In 2010, Callesen received The Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ Eckersberg Medal.
“On the Other Side” – Calmness also received a three-year working grant from the Danish Arts Foundation.
“Impenetrable Castle” – Most of his work consists of only acid free A4 80 GSM paper and glue.
“In the Beginning (Snake Inside An Egg)” – It amazes me that each cut is precisely designed, not only for the beauty left in the void where the paper once was but so that cutout itself can then be pieced together to create the egg in this piece.
“Looking Back” – Callesen creates skeletons in many of his designs.
“Half Way Through” – Occasionally he combines cutouts with pencil sketches.
“Cradle” – My personal favorites are the floral cutouts as demonstrated above. They are beautiful as cutouts as well as the silhouette left behind.
“Little Erected Ruin” – Here Callesen used a little heavier paper (A4 115 GSM paper). I love the simplicity. Just seeing the broken column tells you exactly what inspired this piece. The columns look like they are made of plaster and not simple paper.
“Eismeer” – Eismeer means “ice sea.” In this piece you can practically feel the sharp edges of the ice overtake the ship as it sinks. It’s hard to believe this used to be a simple sheet of paper.
“Walking Snail” – This particular piece reminds me of accidentally stepping on huge snails when I was a kid when I would run outside in the early morning without shoes on.
“Wedding Dress Without Bride” – I love how the train is still a part of the original paper and had not been completely cut out.
“The Short Distance Between Time and Shadow” – I love how the cutout is the city skyline which was then used to create the Chinese style building, or pagoda.
“Running Fire II” – I love how everyone but one person is running from the fire.
“Holding Onto Myself” – This is actually one of my favorite pieces of art from Callesen, even though when compared to some of his other work it is rather simple.
“Butterflies Trying to Escape Their Shadow” – Even without color, these butterflies are absolutely beautiful.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
“Do Not Enter”
More Info: Peter Callesen
Peter Callesen is an amazing artist. And although he mostly works with your standard printer paper, he also creates some awesome art using giant-sized paper where he creates life-size works of art that are pretty awesome. However, his favorite is the A4 paper. He explains, “It is probably the most common and consumed media used for carrying information today. This is why we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By taking away all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white A4 paper sheet for my creations, I feel I have found a material that we are all able to relate to, and at the same time the A4 paper sheet is neutral and open to fill with different meaning. The thin white paper gives the paper sculptures a frailty that underlines the tragic and romantic theme of my works.
The paper cut sculptures explore the probable and magical transformation of the flat sheet of paper into figures that expand into the space surrounding them. The negative and absent 2 dimensional space left by the cut, points out the contrast to the 3 dimensional reality it creates, even though the figures still stick to their origin without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in many of the cuts.”