Sunday, December 23, 2012

Origami and Lace: Finding a Place on the Streets

Written By: Carly Deblock

The words street art and graffiti generally conjure up ideas of men armed with spray cans, tags and stencils. There is a new scene on the streets. In recent years, the number of female street artists has been on the rise and they bring with them game-changing concepts and materials. One wouldn’t necessarily expect the use of lace and paper to be considered unconventional; origami and lace were both being created in the 15th to 17th centuries. In the world of street art, the use of origami and lace is pioneering to new levels. Spray paint has become the standard in urban art and these innovative women are changing that standard.
Lace Graffiti by Mademoiselle Maurice

The discussion of gender is quickly being silenced as the addition of texture, originality and impermanence gives the artwork a well-deserved place on the streets. The dialogue between the art and the environment changes with each piece, dependent on the surroundings or artwork itself. The evanescent qualities create an intense appreciation for the craft and for the meanings the art encompasses. The conventional spray paint methods are being taken to the next level with lace stencils, or without spray paint at all.
Artist Mademoiselle Maurice is one of the most influential artists contributing to urban art community in Paris. She creates her short-lived graffiti with delicate origami, ribbons and handmade lace. After living in Japan for a year, Maurice returned to France with a newly developed love for origami. She began constructing origami art pieces in vibrant colors and eventually yearned to display her talents in a larger scale. Her uplifting origami installations create a fragile gradient of hues that stretch across barren walls and seem to expand in front of the viewers eyes. The contrast between the colors and the dull grey walls captures the eyes of passersby and the work transforms the city into a outdoor art gallery.

NeSpoon is another urban artist who is breaking the stereotypes within graffiti, working with lace. She uses her positve artistic energy to create urban art with traditionally old fashioned lace, referring to her own work as “jewelry of the public space”. Her goal to “dress up the city” is fulfilled through creation of enlarged lace patterns spray painted on walls and buildings. NeSpoon also works with textile lace to interweave her ephemeral work into the atmosphere. She is constantly creating complex cobwebs of yarn and lace in unexpected locations around Europe. The ancient craft of lace is then transformed into stunning and contemporary works of art.
Origami Graffiti

As more urban installations appear in cities around the world, the more people are observing these new trends. Origami, lace, ribbons and yarn are just a few of the innovative materials being used on the streets. A significant increase of women are moving their art to the streets, where the graffiti has been a male-dominated territory. Whether these artists are holding a can of spray paint or a handful of lace and yarn, these women are contributing to the urban art community in profound ways.

At the Thumbprint Gallery, the current artist on display, Jack Stricker, intelligently incorporates lace as a stencil for his artwork. More about the artists and their art can be found on the Thumbprint Gallery website. Located at 920 Kline St. #104 in La Jolla, San Diego, the gallery exhibits contemporary, urban, lowbrow, and graffiti art from local artists. Thumbprint Gallery is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-4pm.


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