Just a few days ago, we at TAE discovered this really rad artist named Max Zorn, who creates “paintings” using precision-cut packaging tape. Yes, you read correctly – the Amsterdam-based Ukraine-born artist creates wonderful images using one of the most mundane items you could think of.
Because brown packaging tape is translucent, he can layer and cut these onto Plexiglass (acrylic glass) using a scalpel to create an incredible lighting effect that leaves viewers stunned and in awe of their beauty. Because of the colors and lighting, a lot of his works have this film noir feel to them, or even a classic and nostalgic feel from the sepia tones.
Believe it or not, this was a project that started out with a simple idea: stick tape onto regular street lamps. In an interview with Art Business News, the artist recalled how he got the inspiration. “It started with the idea to do street art in Amsterdam,” he said. “Amsterdam has these beautiful old streetlamps, and I saw so much street art in the daytime, but no artist was using city lights and streetlamps as a canvas.”
“I started with little sketches with colored markers on Plexiglas. And one night I put up one of these sketches with a piece of brown packing tape. It was the first time I saw how the packing tape interacts with light and creates the sepia tones that remind us of old photography,” he remembered fondly. “I thought that was interesting. The next morning I still had that roll of tape. I started on my kitchen window, unrolling strips, and I cut it with my sushi knife and layered it a little bit. It stuck nastily on the window and it looked pretty ugly, but there was already some potential to be seen.”
Something else more interesting happened as well. The idea of using tape came from a different incident, which he told in an interview with Bored Panda: “The idea to work with tape instead of paint was inspired by a friend who worked as a car designer at that time. These guys often use slim tapes to outline their ideas on large boards. I was surprised to see, how fast they could create stunning sketches with it.”
Such happy accidents and discoveries, right? After his creations took off and got millions of views online from all around the world, Max Zorn converted his project into something more global, allowing people to “apply” on his website on behalf of a location that needs a touch of interesting artwork.
“I’ve always been a big fan of using the context of a city as the backdrop for art,” he said in an interview with Bored Panda. “But I felt one aspect was underrepresented and that was street art that appears at night, when a city changes its face.”
Check out this awesome video of how he “paints” using his unconventional medium:
Here are some more amazing works for you to check out:
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PSA on upcoming shows:
I’ll be showing new works at the Aqua Artfair in Miami from November 30th – December 4th. together with the “Stick Together Gallery”. Feel welcome to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in visiting us or like to see a preview of the works exhibited.
All images used are created and owned by the artist. Thanks for reading!