Papercraft Op Art

Posted: March 2nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Adam | 1 Comment »

The ubiquity of the pixel has certainly left its mark on contemporary craft and other “fun” art. As much as I’m sick of plush robots dolls and felt fruit, I have to admit I’m a sucker for the resurgence of craft as much as the next guy, (girl?) and its convergence with vintage computer technology. Papercraft is probably what gets me going the most, as paper is such an incredibly versatile medium to work with. It can be both sculptural and graphic, not to mention you can print photographs on it! I biked over to WalMart on a cold winter day recently to pick up a great (read cheap) book of textured 12×12 pastel cardstock to use for a special project I had in mind. I’ve always had a crush on bold, formal, geometric graphical things and of late, particularly intrigued with the work of Victor Vasarely, the patriarch of the Op Art Movement.

His deceptively simple, heady pieces were highly influential on the 60’s fashion scene, as well as on the classic 80’s video game, Q-Bert. Lacking the ability to render space realistically in 8-bit color and with limited processing speed, ancient video game programmers were forced to find creative solutions to making their game-spaces immersive and fun. Through tessellating shapes and careful color choice, Vasarely was able to create intense, falsified experiences of space in his viewers. Seeking a gimmick to make an otherwise uninteresting ovoid, snoot-faced creature entertaining, Nintendo co-opted the Vasarely technique of parallelogram-tessellation to create the mind-bending 3-D pyramids known the world-over as “that Q-bert thing.”

Since my childhood, I’ ve endeavored to wrap my feeble mind around those synapse-melting shapes, and in the creation of this mini-mural, have finally seen for myself, the beauty and challenge of creating such a series of shapes effectively. Using 21 sheets of cardstock, a ruler, scissors, masking tape, a pencil and some helping hands (Corrine, Josh, Amanda), I now have an awesome new addition to my living room!

One Comment on “Papercraft Op Art”

  1. 1 Daleah said at 1:21 pm on January 14th, 2010:


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