Time and again we have talked about paper artists who are able to create masterpieces with simple sheets of paper, from Kanako Abe’s delicate cutouts to Ayumi Shibata’s paper cities. Patrick Nelson also falls into the category of paper artists, but he differs from all his colleagues precisely because of the raw material he decides to use for his works.
While we often see artists working with sheets of tissue or coloured cardboard, the Californian artist has instead turned his attention to paper from old vintage newspapers, which are delicate and difficult to handle. Patrick Nelson is not only attracted by the type of paper, but also by the fonts and images that appeared in newspapers at least 60 years ago.
After a long search for vintage newspapers and magazines, Patrick plays with typefaces and illustrated advertisements and overlaps different layers of paper to create landscapes that recall and celebrate the West Coast, the summer atmosphere, half-empty swimming pools, surfers ready to ride the wave and bathers reading the newspaper.
Sometimes he also decides to change the colour of the paper and so, before assembly, he goes through a careful colouring phase with inks and watercolours, always trying not to cover the text and not to ruin the pages.
This step allows him to base the composition on a contrast of lights and shadows and to alternate similar colours with different intensities.