Before 2012 I had a very small body of work. I played around with paper cutting but never committed to it as a “regular thing.” Below are a few samples of what themes and strategies I started with. I used the same #11 blades as I do now, but I am using medical scalpels in place of X-Acto brand. Most of the pieces below were cut before I graduated high school in 2003, and a few through college and just after (2003-2009).
The first two portraits were inspired by photographs of my parents. I wanted to reinterpret the photos but I didn’t have a strong relationship with an art medium in particular. My drawing was so-so, painting was worse. The shadows in the photos were so distinct that I wanted to focus on the shapes and contrasts more than anything else. Especially in the cutting of my mom, the idea was to imply that it was her. I don’t quite remember how I started paper cutting, but if I had pin it to one experience, this was probably it.