One day, artist Erika Iris Simmons decided to tackle a unique project. Taking nothing but pages from Oscar Wilde's book The Picture of Dorian Gray and glue, she would create a portrait of the Irish poet and author. Every few days, she documented the process as she “sculpted” his features. Using scissors, she'd cut strips of the book and then with an X-acto knife she'd create contours of the face. As a guide, she made a “map” which she placed underneath tracing paper. “I separate the pieces of the pages into different ‘intensities' like a paint palette,” she says. For the hair, she decided to add layers of dark lines and then would go over it with “highlights” using big chunks of text.
Simmons not only chose text that suited the project, she carefully placed certain strips in specific places. “Now I have selected some passages that are really relevant to the project (some of which are in the bottom corner). I then taper the ends of each line of text, leaving a lot of white space above and below. When I glue them in place, they look like highlights in the hair, but you can really read the text.”
In total, this 11″x14″ piece took her a total of 50 hours to create.
If Erika Iris Simmons name sounds familiar, that's because she's also the one behind those stunning recycled film reel and tape portraits.