If you happen to be in Tucson, Arizona before November 22, 2011, make sure you check out the Paper Elegies exhibition signed by Nick Georgiou at Etherton Gallery.
I have seen artwork made with paper before, but none was as stunning as the work of Nick Georgiou. From a distance, one could not distinguish these masterpieces from paintings that have hints of expressionism, surrealism, abstract art and even cubism. However, the purpose of this exhibition is special, too. As the artist claims on his blog, the source of inspiration for this type of art is represented by the death of the printed word. With more and more people moving towards Amazon’s Kindle and other such e-book readers, typographies will soon disappear. While this is sad on one hand, it seems like a necessary evolution for the media to me, not to mention the beneficial effect on the world’s forests. No matter how nice the smell of old books is, their weight and the fact that trees go down to make paper are huge disadvantages. Nowadays, e-book readers offer enough storage for entire libraries which would be impossible to carry while traveling.
The Tucson-based artist refers to books and newspapers as artifacts of the 21st century, while he calls his creations sculptures. In order to increase the authenticity of these sculptures, Nick Georgiou prefers to use local newspapers when creating them. America’s South-West seems to be his most recent source of inspiration. After moving from New York to Tucson, the artist started to have a different perception of things. More precisely, he claims that the concept of space expanded substantially, especially because of the lack of buildings that usually obstruct not only the vision. In the desert, he was more aware of the nature, as in this environment it cannot be really neglected. Nick Georgiou also makes a reference to the preservation of nature, which is a bit contradictory, since his sculptures are somehow dedicated to the death of the printed world. Despite this small contradiction, his works of art are worth all the appreciation, as making them required a lot of imagination, time and not at last, paper.