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charles clary: hand cut paper installations go viral

Not satisfied with the results of the paintings he was trying to create based on the microscopic viral world, Charles Clary decided to move away from the two dimensional medium and experiment with other materials. He eventually discovered that he could achieve the desired results by hand-cutting and layering paper shapes. Using a paper made specifically for scrapbooking, he cuts up to 4,000 sheets of paper and 14,000 polystyrene spacers for each vividly colored installation. Clary’s intent is for the reliefs to look like they are growing, out of control, contaminating surfaces and taking over the space they inhabit. Mission accomplished.


Double Diddle Evisceration, detail, layered paper installation

Codastic Infestation

Untitled Movement

The detail shots tell more of the story for each installation.
Visit the archives on Clary’s blog to see more.

“The whole process becomes very meditative, whether its cutting and sanding my supports, or spending days meticulously cutting paper, or cutting all the polystyrene spacers that go in between each layer everything takes so much time that I have to fall in love with it or I’d go crazy.” Charles Clary, from this interview

Codastic Diddlation, detail

Microbial Reverberation, detail

 This detail shot shows the acrylic spacers between the paper layers


These worlds escape reality, growing beyond my control. With each new evolution, these worlds continue to grow and morph into strange new embodiments, developing new and limitless manifestations of viral like expanses. Charles Clary from an interview with yatzer


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4 Responses to charles clary: hand cut paper installations go viral

  1. Hey Avril,

    The spacers are made from tubes of polystyrene and are kinda hard to find. I actually bought out midwest products b/c they were discontinuing the clear ones that they made. Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

  2. Wow I love it. This is the sort of thing I would love to make, espically as I have heaps of paper about just waiting to be used. What are the acrylic spacers though and where can one get them? I just have foam pads which are useful but are only in black or white which from the side interrupts the colour gradients.

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