When we covered Charles Clary three years ago, we said his surreal cut paper sculptures were “infectious.” That hasn’t changed in his latest works, but they have become far more unsettling. His painstakingly crafted organic forms find a home inside the walls of houses, appearing to have been excavated from the drywall and wallpaper. It’s no accident that his works are disquieting. They were inspired by an incredibly difficult period:
In February of 2013 I lost both my mother and father, two weeks apart, to smoking related cancers. It was a devastating time in my life, but I channeled my grief into the conceptual ideas of my work. Cancer is a disease that is a perfectly structured killer; it is beautiful in its architecture but grotesque in its eventuality. I began to think about nostalgia, longing for a childhood I never had, and parents that I needed. These thoughts brought me to the exploration of drywall and discarded wallpaper. The idea behind the more recent work using retro pop culture from my childhood is of order from chaos, beauty from destruction, and hope for more joyous times.
Clary creates the organic aspects of his pieces using layer after layer of paper cut with an X-acto knife over hours of focused work. You can see his method in the video below. Be sure to follow him on Instagram or see more examples on his personal website.