Thursday, 9 October 2014

Gothic Glory on Paper

Eric Standley’s ground-breaking creations have brought viewers closer to 12th-century artistry, while also breaking barriers and completely revolutionising paper art.

Have you ever entered an imposing gothic church and felt absolutely overwhelmed by its beauty and by a feeling of reverence inspired by the lacelike work on stone and stained-glass windows? On the other hand, have you ever visited a Moorish palace and found yourself standing in awe, staring at the incredibly elaborate and exquisite decoration of walls, windows and patios? Inevitably, this makes us wonder at the amazing genius, creativity and artistic skills of mankind and, particularly, of all those involved in the building of such admirable sites.

Precisely drawing his inspiration from such remarkable constructions, Eric Standley, a Virginia based artist, has taken paper art to defying new horizons by creating amazing and awe-inspiring layered paper cuts of an incredible level of complexity to produce Gothic and Islamic architectural elements in the fragile materiality of paper.

Each of Standley’s works first goes through a long and detailed process of planning and drawing which can take months to be completed. He, then, works over one hundred layers of laser-cut paper, painstakingly assembled to create intricate 3-D art pieces that must be viewed from different perspectives to be fully 

As a dyslexic constantly switching the left and right hemispheres of his brain, Eric Standley has been particularly attracted by paradoxes. Gothic and Islamic ornamentation patterns offer him this sort of eternally opposing either/or contrasts that so much fascinate him. Moreover, his extremely beautiful and exquisite creations seem to have the capacity to seize the infinite, in so far as they give viewers the feeling that they are never-ending in their multi-layered volume and depth, achieved by what is commonly called negative space.

Eric Standley’s art masterly metamorphoses what we usually see on massive stone into mesmerizing pieces made in the fragile and intimate medium that is paper. In so doing, he brings 12th-century architectural aesthetics closer to 21st-century viewers, by combining creativity, technical skill and command of visual culture.

In fact, Standley’s mind-blowing creations ultimately generate in viewers the very same feeling of reverence and awe inspired by Gothic churches and Moorish palaces, while also pushing the limits of paper art to a new and challenging status.

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