Widely regarded as the most famous statue in the world, almost everyone can recognize Michelangelo's David. While we are accustomed to seeing it in its marble form, some artists have reimagined its likeness into new and varied mediums. Artist @mayuncchigami has recreated this masterpiece as a highly detailed origami using only one square sheet of paper.
The intricate piece features many of the same features of the original artwork, including realistic anatomy and the contrapposto stance. The artist began the project with a crease pattern created by Boice Wong, which provides a basic structure for the model. However, instead of following it to a T, @mayuncchigami incorporated his own vision, wanting to amplify the realism, particularly the musculature of David. “My goal was to both recreate Michelangelo's statue as closely as I could with origami, but also try something that is very much unlike anything you would typically encounter in origami,” he tells My Modern Met.
Prior to commencing the project, @mayuncchigami prepared a 55 x 55 cm (21.7-square-inch) wenzhou paper (a type of material made out of mulberry bark) by treating it with methylcellulose, which makes the paper stiffer and more resistant to tearing. Afterward, he followed the pattern to create the basic structure. “Here is when I started to experiment with shaping the various skeletal muscles,” he explains. “I roughly sketched out my shaping, first by tracing the lines and shapes into the paper with my fingers and tweezers to get a feeling of the overall form and position of the various details until I am satisfied.” Manipulating the paper in this way also led to an organic, crinkling texture that helped amplify the anatomical features.
@mayuncchigami also added white glue between the layers of paper to prevent it from splaying and to allow the shapes to set in more permanently. The most difficult element, he said, was the head, as it required much more precision to render the face correctly. “David is the current culmination of that style where I try to sculpt a very realistic looking humanoid origami that radiates poetic drama,” he adds.
Scroll down to see more photos of this incredible paper sculpture, and follow @mayuncchigami on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest work.
Artist @mayuncchigami recreated Michelangelo's David entirely with paper.
The pattern is based on Boice Wong's Looking Beyond, a blueprint of the basic structure of David.
@mayuncchigami used this crease pattern as the foundation for his more sculptural approach.
He mimics the realism of the Renaissance sculpture by folding and creasing the wenzhou paper.
The final piece measures just 10 x 10 cm (about 3.9 x 3.9 inches).