Remember those snowflakes people used to cut out of paper back in elementary school? Well New York visual artist Maude White is doing that, basically times a gajillion.
We stumbled upon Maude’s work on Instagram and have been FULLY obsessed ever since. Like, what? How are these even possible?
Maude is one of the world’s foremost artisans specializing in the painstakingly meticulous craft of paper carving meaning she creates art by making a series of tiny cuts into a sheet of paper. Her work is focused on the development and production of ethereal, dreamlike vignettes cut from single pieces of paper, showcasing both an expansive imagination and the technical proficiency necessary to bring her work to life. Let’s just break that down for a second. Out of ONE piece of paper she’s cutting ridiculously intricate celestial figures. Got that? It’s easy to gloss over and just be like “oh, Ok cool” but when you really think about what she’s doing . . . brain explosion.
Like other sculptors, White’s art is created not by adding, but rather, by taking away. Her ability to take something as plain as a piece of paper, and utilize negative space to create something so intricately detailed, is stunning and so original. Much more than a craftsman, White is a storyteller.
“When I was a child I thought a great deal about hidden spaces,” writes White on her website. “The intimacy, the hushed secrecy — I was always looking underneath objects, or through them. I have always believed that if you look hard enough, you will see something precious and new, or, perhaps, something incredibly ancient and sacred.”
Showcases of White’s work have appeared in Western New York galleries, as well as in a number of art publications. Individual pieces can be purchased at her Etsy storefront.
“I have great respect for paper,” she writes on her site. “I feel that there are very few things in the world as reliable and constant as paper. Paper is everywhere and it has been telling stories for centuries. By respecting and honoring paper for what it is, and not considering it a stepping-stone to something greater, I feel like I am communicating some of the pleasure it brings to me. I am not creating for Art’s sake. I am creating for Paper’s sake, to make visible the stories that every piece of paper attempts to communicate to us.”