To make his sculptures Li uses a stencil to paste glue in narrow strips across large pieces of paper that he then sticks together to form blocks of 500.
He stacks the blocks to the desired height — an average bust is over ten blocks or 5,000 sheets of paper high — then cuts, chisels and sands the large block just as if it were a piece of soft stone. Born into a simple farming family, Li said he has always loved paper, first invented in ancient China. He has spent six years producing a collection of books recording more than 1,000 years of Buddhist art on paper.
In his recent works, Li has consciously produced only perfect replicas of classical busts and shapes he used to sketch at university. The denatured human forms may make some people squirm, but Li says he uses the archetypal figures to make audiences concentrate on the material, not to shock.
This piece of fine art *straight face now* that demonstrated how Jesus wrote the Constitution, Founded the United States of America, and built Three Mile Island giving him that alluring glow, was going around the web yesterday. The best part about it is if you go to the site and move the mouse over it, there is a alt text on the right for each person in the painting. For example, put your mouse on the professor (he’s the one standing next to satan clutching the copy of Origin of Species) and you learn that he represents the liberal control of education.
Well, it didn’t take long for the internet to jump on this and improve it. Sweet, sweet intertubes, how I do love you.
From Amanda Palmer’s blog:
artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.
artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.
artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.
please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it.
unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely noticed that artists ALL over the place are reaching out directly to their fans for money.
how you do it is a different matter.
maybe i should be more tasteful.
maybe i should not stop my concerts and auction off art.
i do not claim to have figured out the perfect system, not by a long shot.
BUT … i’d rather get the system right gradually and learn from the mistakes and break new ground (with the help of an incredibly responsive and positive fanbase) for other artists who i assume are going to cautiously follow in our footsteps. we are creating the protocol, people, right here and now.
i don’t care if we fuck up. i care THAT we’re doing it.
in fact, i ENJOY being the slightly crass, outspoken, crazy-(naked?)-chick-on-a-soapbox holding out a ukulele case of crumpled dollars asking for your money so that someone else a few steps behind me, perhaps some artist of shy and understated temperament, can feel better and maybe a little less nervous when they quietly step up and hold out their hat, fully clothed.
i am shameless, and fearless, when it comes to money and art.
i can’t help it: i come from a street performance background.
i stood almost motionless on a box in harvard square, painted white, relinquishing my fate and income to the goodwill and honor of the passers-by.
i spent years gradually building up a tolerance to the inbuilt shame that society puts on laying your hat/tipjar on the ground and asking the public to support your art.
i was harassed, jeered at, mocked, ignored, insulted, spit at, hated.
i was also applauded, appreciated, protected, loved….all by strangers passing me in the street.
people threw shit at me.
people also came up to me and told me that i’d changed their lives, brightened their day, made them cry.
some people used to yell “GET A FUCKING JOB” from their cars when they drove by me.
i, of course, could not yell back. i was a fucking statue, statues do not yell.
My fascination with heads began as an art student. For me, the human head was a natural choice of subject matter because of its inherent expressiveness. I carve the faces out of phone books because I like the three-dimensional quality that results and because of the unexpected results that occur working in this medium. The three-dimensional quality enhances the feeling of the pieces as an object as opposed to a picture.
In carving and painting a head from a phone directory, Iâ€™m celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community. In addition, I like the idea of creating something that is normally discarded every year into an object of longevity.
(via Dangerous Minds)
A Flickr set of art drawn on styrofoam coffee cups.