This week is not starting auspiciously. So I thought I'd focus on some good things in the world of paper cutting.
First up Bovey Lee, who maintains a great blog about the practice of papercutting has been putting up some helpful reviews and tips on materials she likes to use. Namely, some interesting word on the street about improvements to the X-Acto #11 and a review of using scalpels. I've looked into scalpels online, but I don't know enough about the options to feel ready to purchase. I'll be interested to see if she ends up switching from X-Acto to scalpel longterm.
Also there's a papercutting book out very recently that's worth a look. It's called Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft, and it has a good contemporary survey of a number of papercutters out there.
You won't see Kara Walker in this one though, which is a shame since I think she's the most prominent fine artist papercutter, but is probably also why she wasn't necessarily featured. There was a nice interview with Kara Walker in last month's (May 2011) Art in America that I also think is worth a look. I like hearing about process and thoughts of artists. She's incredible. I find her pieces absolutely incendiary and beautiful.
Lastly, Swoon at MOCA's "Art in the Streets". I thought it was the best part of the show. First of all, she made the wise decision to pull herself away from all the CHAOS and NOISE of the rest of the exhibit, by being in a sort of tent. Secondly, papercuts galore!
Speaking of "Art in the Streets", boy. That whole thing...it's almost hard to talk about. My friend B doesn't have the same problems I do, so she just said succinctly, "a nightmare. A curatorial nightmare." She's right. It is. Its a mess. Many things about it feel wrong. Also LA people are are a mess, or at least the attendees at this show were, they were photographing everything on the iPhones, often bumping into, or walking in front of people who were trying to actually look at the show. There's something so annoying about people who are just photographing away at their food, or the show, or the concert, and not enjoying it. Relentless documentation. There were good pieces, but taken all together? It was kind of nutso. Also some of it was pretty schlocky- the homeless man house of horrors was particularly annoying and cliche.
I guess it achieved the particular quality of graffiti in that it didn't seem curated...? I dunno.