Similar to shadow puppets in old theater shows, writer and Emmy award-winning TV producer John Marshall creates silhouette art from cardboard. His Sunset Selfies series features the artist himself playfully interacting with his hand-cut characters and objects. Each DIY scene is photographed against the sunset, allowing it to playfully come to life in fantastical detail.
Marshall’s project began when he spent the summer living in a small cabin on Frye Island in Maine. He enjoyed watching the colorful sunsets from his back door, so he decided to start a creative project that incorporated the sky. Marshall challenged himself to capture one silhouette image each sunset using only cardboard and some common cutting tools for 30 days. The artist’s first cardboard creation was of a crocodile cut from an old beer box. Marshal recalls, “I stuck it on my head and loved the way the silhouette brought the crude cutout to life.”
Since then, Marshall had continued to create daily Sunset Selfies, and his style has evolved to become more and more detailed. From animals to pop culture characters, each of Marshall’s images has its own story to tell, and always features the artist himself in the shot. In one image, Marshall appears to fly in the air with Supergirl, and in another, he’s jamming on his guitar with Kermit the Frog. For Marshall, it’s all about using his hands to create something physical that tells a story. “As a writer, I love getting away from my computer, getting down on the ground and drawing something each day,” he tells My Modern Met. “I also love the collaboration with nature, creating a unique background for every image.”
Check out some of Marshall’s Sunset Selfies below, and find more from his portfolio on Instagram.