Tax File: Paper Statement Art by Nava Lubelski

With Tax Day looming straight ahead of us here in the U.S., there's no time like the present to feature New York City visual artist, Nava Lubelski. Her sculptures bring a fascinating perspective to rolled paper art.

1998 Tax File, 1/4" x 19" x 19", paper and glue, 2007

Nava shredded tax forms, receipts, deposit slips, and pay stubs, rolled the strips, and glued them together mostly in random fashion to create 1998 Tax File. Not only does the piece serve as a historical reminder because of its literal content, but in a broader sense, the flat layers of spiraled coils suggest the biological growth of a tree. Think of a cross section slice of the trunk.

By reusing paper and going so far as to reconstruct its source, Nava examines common feelings of squandering things of value and at the same time, the human experience of reluctantly parting with possessions that no longer have worth.

Rejection Letters , 1" x 20" x 20", cut and shredded rejection letters, glue, 2008

Nava was featured in an interesting television program, Art Seen Asheville - the episode can be seen here [edit: no longer available]. It begins by detailing her work with fabric, but at the 16:30 mark she discusses her rolled paper sculptures.

As one who enjoys working precisely, but admits to being occasionally hampered by this self-enforced neatness, I appreciate Nava's freeing thoughts on creating abstract art. Traditional quilling most likely falls into her category of "hyper perfect" craft... such an appropriate phrase.

Crush, 1" x 38" x 38", cut and shredded love letters, glue, 2008

Crush was recently featured in the Museum of Arts and Design exhibit, Slash: Paper Under the Knife.

See more of Nava's interesting work on her website.

All Things Paper is an Etsy affiliate.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. I can appreciate the time, work and theme put into these pieces. . . though I find them aesthetically unpleasing . . .I really like her embroidered art and admire her ability to live with “mistakes” in her art. . .

  2. It's crazy :)

    Welcome to my blog candy!

  3. Oh, this is just fantastic! I love the concept and the execution. Nava's work reminds me yet again that human creativity knows no bounds ...

  4. I just saw one of these pieces at the Museum of Art and Design here in was pretty great!

  5. Very imaginative and creative. Also a great way to recycle.

  6. Oooh, I like how dimensional they are- and the little compartments, they remind me of honeycombs. Very interesting!

  7. These are amazing. Just mesmerizing!

  8. wow, her work is absolutely incredible. the patience and perseverance!

  9. I appreciate the teeny-tiny-ness of her work!


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