Whatever you do, don’t take simple objects for granted. For example, take a piece of construction paper.. It’s a craft staple that’s usually considered a “kid thing.” But that medium is hardly for kids only, as paper is currently enjoying a renaissance among young artists as an experimental medium for various projects.
For Miami-based paper artist Jen Stark, she has boldly pushed using construction paper to another level, creating extraordinary three-dimensional sculptures made from simple sheets of construction paper, and an X-acto knife. She is among the most notable
and prolific of younger artists, having produced other works in animation and drawing. But it’s those wonderful paper creations that draw you into living rainbows of undulating color, texture and form and form.
“Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already.”
Not even thirty, Jen studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), graduating Magna Cum Laude in Fine Arts. But it was a trip abroad that brought this form into being. Going to France to study for a semester, she could only take two suitcases for five months’ study. So she decided to purchase her art supplies there. Being financially prudent, she settled on a pack of assorted construction paper, and began experimenting. From there, her vision of the color-plosion took off.
When asked why she chose paper, she stated, “Paper is a very common material, something that everyone uses, and is exposed to in their everyday lives.’ yes, paper might be considered common, but these works are anything but.
She uses card-stock paper, that’s non-fade, and acid free. Due to its rigidity, it allows for more sturdiness plus an ability to last longer. She usually buys a color assortment pack, and then arranges the sheets as to how the colors would look together. Each layer is cut one by one, and then assembled together. This hand-cutting process is arduous, but that adds to the DIY appeal. These works are not optical illusions, but one-of-a-kind layered bursts of colors that can serve as metaphors for how intricate people are physically and emotionally.
She’s influenced by mathematics, geometry, and organic forms found in the natural world, all that have an underlying order and precision. Also, her sister, Jeri, is a doctor, so that provided another sense of microscopic exactitude.
Lately, she’s ventured into other projects, including wood and some animation. But it’s the amazing bursts of colored paper that are her signature.
Now, step into your own relaxing journey for a few moments with a video of some of her pieces accompanied by the ambient music of Ludovico Einaudi.