Fanciful (and Amazing) Paper Art

The genius of Peter Callesen’s paper art caught my attention courtesy of an email from my painting teacher, Joni. Many of Peter’s creations are made from a single sheet of paper.

Not all his works are small. Check out the big stuff. Life-sized stairways made of paper??! Wow.

Some of Peter’s thoughts on his work with standard (A4) paper:

“I find the A4 sheet of paper interesting to work with, because it probably still is the most common and consumed media and format for carrying information today, and in that sense it is something very loaded. This means that we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By removing all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white 80gsm A4 paper as a base for my creations, I feel that I have found a material which, on one hand, we all are able to relate to, and which on the other hand is non-loaded and neutral and therefore easier to fill with different meanings. The thin white paper also gives the paper sculptures a fragility which underlines the tragic and romantic theme of the works.”

A bit of browsing through Peter’s various installations and performances makes me smile. Peter is my favorite kind of artist: one who challenges my assumptions about my world in completely new and arresting ways, not just visually and aesthetically, but culturally, socially, emotionally. Some of his stuff pushes my buttons and makes me real uncomfortable (OMG, now he’s scaring the kids!). I love art in that role ~ poking at my assumptions and making me think and question and rethink. And smile.


  1. Barbara Berry:

    I looked at all of these–they’re fascinating and unbelievable. Did Pete C start decades ago? They appear to need that much time to complete. I love the simplicity of Snowballs, am pondering Man Made of Woman, like the poetry of Looking Back. And the metaphor of being tethered….!

  2. Holly:

    Glad you enjoyed Peter’s stuff. His CV gives a sense of a time line for his career, but I don’t remember seeing any reference to how long a particular piece takes. I agree that they are amazingly intricate! And I love his metaphor-play, too.

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