Israelis are well known for being industrious – especially when it comes to turning innocuous every day materials such as tomato cans, or in Naama Arad’s case, paper into beautiful works of art.
Arad creates entire scenes with recycled Xerox paper shredded into hundreds of long strips.
That she has devised a clever way to create such long pieces is impressive enough, but then the artist, who was born in Israel and works from Chicago, arranges the strips so that they resemble otherworldly, and even slightly creepy scenes.
“The curtain-like structures cover large areas of the exhibition space,” writes my Modern Met, “giving the illusion of a room that continues beyond the four constricting walls.”
The resulting images, which evoke famous architectural landmarks and interesting landscapes, also remind us with no small amount of nostalgia of giant black and white movies, with the picture flickering in and out, and pooling on the ground in front of it.
“[Arad’s] work proposes a fascinating point of view of emotions such as passion and the moment of falling in love with an Internet image,” reports My Modern Met, “and the repetition of this moment into a work of art.”
Deceptively simple, this extraordinary paper art also surreptitiously benefits the environment: think for one second how much paper we trash in a couple of hours, never mind days and years; then multiply that by billions of people and you can begin to fathom the state of our landfills.
Arad gives a finite resource, such as paper, second life, thereby keeping it out of already overburdened landfills; in so doing, she also pays respects to the trees that were felled to make the paper in the first place.