Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portraits Carved into A Phone Book

In my own art, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to apply the three R's - especially recycled materials to paint on. Alex Querel, a sculptor from Philadelphia uses something I would have never thought of to create portraits - phone books. His works are amazing. Not only are they excellent portraits, but the medium he chooses to work in must be fairly challenging. Yes phone books used to be wood, but now they are super thin, fragile pieces of paper stacked together. What a crazy way to reuse and recycle.

Querel came upon the idea to use the phonebooks when he was looking for wood for a sculpture. He said, "Every year when the new phone book comes out you see just piles of the old ones lying around waiting for collection.

"I'm sure a lot of hard work goes into recycling them but there are thousands that go unused at all because most people just use the internet to find people these days.

"I was out looking for wood to make a sculpture one day and I noticed a huge pile of them on the pavement. I suddenly thought they would probably make a pretty good material for carving, so I gave it a go."

To create his masterpieces, he first draws a sketch of the portrait and then places that drawing over the phonebook as a template. He then takes a razor blade and carefully cuts away the hundreds of layers of paper to create the 3-D portrait.

Check out more of his amazing portraits and watch him in action.

[via Crafting A Green World]