Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Paper Sculptures Inspired by History and Real People

Patty Grazini recreates the passed moments in history through these amazing paper sculptures. Inspired by events in the late 19th century, she created the project called “Eccentric Misfits and Uncommon Characters”. The sculptural pieces from the project measures 15 inches tall and are constructed from ephemera—gathered by the artist during her travels, from bookshops, and abandoned corners—that have passed through different hands and contexts.

Each quirky sculpture piece depicts the "aesthetic of the period and each woman’s personal and historical circumstances”. She uses paper as fabric to make clothing and props. She pleats, folds and gathered paper to make it appear like fabric. She has always used a wood-burning tool to burn the edges and to distress the paper. 

Lucy Macklen - poet. A Wall Street beggar was taken to court for vagrancy and pan handling. She went before the judge and recited a poem. The judge agreed she was indeed a poet and released her without any fine.

Fanny Schurman Opera Singer - a young woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital because she claimed to be a distinguished opera singer. She couldn't sing. 

Jennie Lord- the deer is a bride who ran away on the evening before her wedding, in her bridal gown. She left with another man, her true love, who was beneath her social class.

Why does she give animal heads to her figures? 
"I had several reasons. I think people can relate to animals in a different way—when they look at a human face, they relate to themselves. For each sculpture, I chose an animal we associate with certain human traits, as a way to reveal more about the criminal and the crime. I think using animals added an element of mystery—I didn’t want a strictly “photographic” representation. Also, political cartoonists during the Victorian age often used the heads of animals in their cartoons, and I wanted to reference that journalistic tradition" - via.

The group of characters below is from her another whimsical project titled "New York Criminals 1880-1915". The pieces represent the real stories of people who committed crimes between 1885-1915 and were reported in the New York Times. The sculptures are accompanied with a copy of the original article.

John Herbert. Arrested for peddling without a license in 1915. He dyed sparrows yellow, and sold them as canaries. 

Emma Monard (1909) Long Island cook.
Olive Brown (1890) Spiritualist who claims she speak to Jesus. She reports that Jesus needs money to build a lumber yard in heaven, and in this way obtained nearly $3000 from an elderly man.

Mathila Hart (1888) Champion heart breaker and polygamist who married 11 times. She travels from town to town, meets a single man, and marries. Soon after, she tells her new husband that her mother was sick and needs $300 dollars to pay for expenses. She boards a train and moves to another town.

Delia A. Ruggles (1888) Arrested for arson for burning her apartment to collect insurance money.

Emma Monard (1909) Long Island cook apprehended after assaulting and threatening her employer. He had criticized her cooking.

Lena Scuccimaro (1905) Arrested for baby trafficking.


Rebecca said...

The first Emma Monard caption is under what looks like a "fortune-teller."

I had to laugh at Mathila Hart; at first glance, I thought "Love 'em and leave 'em." Well done, Ms. Grazini!

My Owl Barn said...

Thank you for pointing that out. I have made the correction :)

The characters are hilarious with unusual stories that are real!