When you watch Patti Grazini and listen to her talk you are instantly aware that her sweet, soft-spoken demeanor is a sharp contrast to the characters she creates.
Arrested for baby trafficking in 1905
For her most recent body of work, Grazini gathered stories from the New York Times about people who committed crimes between 1885-1915, then translated the criminals into sculptures made completely of paper.
Arrested for peddling without a license in 1915.
He dyed sparrows yellow, and sold them as canaries.
Ada Turise-age 16
Pretty but depraved. Arrested for opium smoking on Pell Street, NY in 1884
Not all of her sculptures are based on criminals. Sometimes a horse is just a horse.
A copy of the original NYT article is included with each character. Grazini uses ephemera gathered during her travels to construct the 12-14″ figures. She takes each piece through an arduous process of layering and detailing, creating a unique narrative for these unforgettable rogues.
In the video profile of the artist above (and here) she explains why she chose to make animal heads for the criminals instead of human heads. Interesting. . .