Life by a Thousand Cuts

thomas_witte1With all of the design and printing technologies available to us today, sometimes you need something of a palate cleanser that reminds you of the magic that can be worked on a simple piece of paper with little more than one’s hands.

Inspired by the stencil-based street art scene in Argentina, artist Thomas Witte returned to Brooklyn and began to create works he dubbed “Paper Cuts.” The catalyst for this explosion of creativity? His grandfather’s old photographic slides. Working from the photos, he drew the intricate details onto large sheets of paper, which he then worked over with an X-acto knife to make the papers you see here.


From there he worked from his own photographs, and developed a technique where shadows, outlines and every element of an illustration are contained in a single paper layer. As Witte concludes in the video below, “I love this medium really more than anything I’ve ever done before…all I need is paper.”


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