Friday, December 13, 2013

Paper Sculpture Artist - Patty Grazini

One day last week I happened to think about paper artist Patty Grazini. Each of the past seven years in November and December she has exhibited an extraordinary collection of figures sculpted entirely from paper at Curtis Steiner in Seattle. What did she work on in 2013? Believe it or not, the very next day I heard from Patty - kismet!

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 Bella Rosenfeld, muse of Marc Chagall
photo by the artist

She wrote to introduce her newest paper art display, which is called The Artists' Muse.

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Once again Patty has created a spellbinding group of historical garments, detailed to the nth degree as only she can do.

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Patty said she found this to be a particularly interesting group because it combined her interests in art history, biography, and paper sculpture.

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Saskia Van Uylenburgh, Rembrandt van Rign's wife
photo by the artist

She began by researching many artists from different periods and countries with the intent of creating in paper the models or muses who inspired specific paintings. Saskia, Rembrandt's wife, was her historical starting point and Dora Maar, Picasso's muse, is the most recent figure.

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Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso's muse
photo by the artist

Patty interpreted each woman as if she has just stepped from the painting. She is wearing the same outfit complete with accessories, and every detail has been wondrously recreated with paper. There are hats, shoes, jewelry, bows, buttons, bouquets, vases, fruit, furniture, and even a dog. Behind each muse stands a printed image of the painting that inspired the piece, mounted in a handmade paper frame.

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A biography of the muse and her relationship with the artist is placed near the figure. Liberties have been taken with some of the clothing, but Patty did her best to create a sense of connection between the painting and sculpture.

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I asked Patty about the size of the figures, accessories, and also their construction, as I was curious if the paper garments were sewn or glued.

The thirteen figures are 15 inches tall and the paintings on their stands are about 20-25 inches tall. Bella Rosenfeld's and Marc Chagall's shoes are tiny at just over an inch in length. I had to use magnifying glasses and tweezers when I worked on them. Everything is glued. I have a background in sewing, so it was easy for me to make the patterns for each part of the clothing. Setting the sleeves was the most difficult part.

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 Hazel Martyn, wife of Sir John Lavery
photo by the artist

I also asked if she becomes attached to these figures with whom she spends so much time.

I don't have trouble letting the work go. The process is really what I like most. I would rather my work be enjoyed than kept by me. 

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 Victorine Louise Meurent, muse of Edouard Manet
photo by the artist

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Patty describes the purpose of the the collection this way: It's my goal to give a voice to an overlooked component of famous paintings, and through my artwork, illuminate some of history's forgotten subjects. I hope that the viewer is not only moved by the intricacies of detail that I put into my work, but will learn something about the women who inspired, nurtured, and loved the artists who created some of the most beautiful paintings ever made.   

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Patty-Grazini-The-Artists'-Muse-exhibit

Although I usually think it's best to see art in person, the detail images shown here, taken by a friend of Patty's, Jennifer Kennard, provide us with a bird's eye view. Read Jennifer's post in which she describes a visit to the gallery and see additional photos on her blog, Letterology.

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Lydia Delectorskaya, muse of Henri Matisse

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Previous posts about Patty's exhibits can be found here and here.

All photographs by Jennifer Kennard except for those by the artist, as noted.

11 comments:

Joyce Melo said...

Beautiful work!!

Maureen said...

Charming, delightful, and wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! I thought they were life size-the detail is so perfect.
Gail

Anonymous said...

absolutely amazing!! so much detail and history!! a lovely post ann!!
licia

SUGANTHI said...

Hard to believe these are miniatures and that they are made from paper.Amazingly detailed . So very inspiring.

Melissa Kojima said...

Wow! So beautiful! I love that she chose the muses as the subject for this body of work! Bravo!

June C said...

I am amazed by the complexity of her work. Truly remarkable ~ love it!

I wonder if she makes her own paper

Vicki Smith said...

Such exquisite detail!

Kathy W said...

Wow! Gorgeous. I thought they were life-size. I can't imagine how much work is involved in them, especially at the small size. Very impressive. Thank you so much for introducing me to Patty's work.

Jean Bullock said...

WOW! Fabulous!

Stephanie Pounds said...

Intricacies of detail, I guess! Wow!

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