Berlin-based artist Max Gärtner produces intricate paper cutouts that have the quality of ink-drawn lines. Heads of jaguars, lionesses, and the wings of birds are all crafted using curvy bold marks that create contour, add visual weight, and define form. Large groups of lines wrap around each to imply textures like fur and feathers. So although Gärtner’s works look flat, we get a great sense of how mighty and powerful these creatures are.
From a distance, you might not be able to tell that these images are cutouts. It’s only upon closer inspection that you notice the artist has sliced long strips and extracted tiny shapes from spray-painted paper.
Cutouts are just one facet of Gärtner’s repertoire. He also makes similar-looking screen prints, and they too appear as if they were produced by pen in hand. This is key to Gärtner’s designs. “I consider the hand-drawn line to be of extreme importance, it’s the basis for all my work,” he says. “To draw by hand represents, to certain extent, presenting one’s most inner self – there is no room for deception, the spectator receives an unadulterated insight.”