Charles Clary’s paper-cut sculptural creations are constructed from hundreds of individual sheets of paper, forming a complicated layering of shapes and colours that are so complex that one would assume the cuts were made by machine. However, each single sheet is meticulously hand cut by Clary using just a simple X-Acto knife. These stacked, curved contours mimic lines on a topography map, creating a depth that draws the viewer into its surface. When installed, each organic shaped form is arranged together in a mass, spreading across the space like multiplying cells. The artist explains his amoeba-like aesthetic:
“My most recent paper installation sculptures deal with the idea that music is an intangible virus, and we, the viewers, are the carriers that spread this “disease” from one space to another. Each paper tower resembles computer generated sound waves, petri dishes, bacterial and viral colonies, as well as fungal and mold growths; the towers represent the similarities that each share on the micro level. Context is removed, inviting the viewer to closely explore the work without fear of being infected.”
Clary also integrates a variety of patterned wallpaper into his relief sculptures. In each piece, the wall seems to be disintegrating, exposing the unexpected, hidden, layered paper underneath. This work experiments with the notion of nostalgia, as his paper-cut forms often recede into the drywall, as if sinking into a time once lost, a place of forgotten memories.