Peter Callesen is a Danish artist and author. He works mainly with just A4 sheets of white paper. “It is probably the most common and consumed media used for carrying information today. This is why we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper.” (Peter Callesen – http://www.petercallesen.com/about/) Callesen works primarily with white paper, he says it adds “tragic and romantic” theme to his work, in the sense that his figures, while stood up away from the flat piece of paper they are still attached to the paper and therefore cannot ‘escape’, his use of paper creates incredibly fragile sculptures showing the “frailty that underlines the tragic and romantic theme of my (Callesen’s) works.”
While white paper appears to be one of the simplest mediums to work with, Callesen works with the idea of ‘complexity’ in his piece White Diary. The piece is of a human head with a complex though process, fairy tales and imaginative landscapes coming from a sketchbook in the centre of the head. The piece is supposed to show ‘’confusion and a feeling of getting lost in the detail’’ Callesen does present these feelings through the various small complex illustrations used in White Diary, the piece appears to be incredibly fragile, when looked at from a distance it appears to be filled with various shapes but when looked at in detail smaller illustrations of city landscapes, spiders and other illustrations appear to make up the mass of ‘ideas’ coming from the sketchbook. This puts emphasis on the details as the viewer has to pay attention to each detail in the piece to view each individual illustration, and presents the confusion of some many ideas as each illustration differs from the last.
For many of Callesen’s A4 paper cut pieces, he decided to frame them. All these pieces appear on white paper with a coloured piece as the background of an oak frame. The presentation of these pieces shows the simplicity of the medium Callesen uses. The simple block colours and plain frame puts all of the focus on his delicate sculptures and paper cut illustrations. Callesen presents his work in a very effective way, because many of his illustrations take up a small corner of the paper when viewed people feel the need to go up close and view each piece to really appreciate how incredible they are, while the simplistic frames and background don’t take any of the focus away from each illustration.
Images from – http://www.petercallesen.com/home/