Felix Semper is the master of “unfoldable” art.
There’s an amazing story behind what the artist refers to as stretchable paper sculptures.
Felix Semper lost his construction business in the recession. Out of that loss, an artist was born. Completely self-taught, he has manufactured his own medium with carefully stacked and painted paper, wood, and other materials. The sculptures are precisely cut and glued to create an “internal mechanism” that enables the accordion effect, The painting of the finished pieces is one element that amazes even classically trained artists, some who have mused, “How did he learn to paint like that so quickly by himself?”
Part paper and part Slinky
Felix’s sculptures include a ‘dimensional morphing component’ that incorporates the artist’s unique ability to integrate mixed mediums.
Semper’s subjects are selected from everyday life, and they are eclectic: a Cheese-It box, owls, tennis shoes, The Notorious B.I.G., hamburgers, Coca-Cola cans, cakes, and more. By the way, Biggie’s sculpture required about 7,000 sheets of paper and took three months to create.
“Well, you know, paper sculptures are an important medium for me because when I was starting, I started with paper. I drew on paper, so paper was around me on a daily basis.”
Also part of the genesis of Felix’s art was his experience working in a print shop and operating a paper cutter. Seeing the way the stacks of paper moved when handled, and how they peeled away from the cutter blade, inspired the artist to ask himself, “What would happen if I connected these sheets?”
Here’s what happened?
Who said you can’t make money in paper?
1. Felix’s sculptures are commanding $2,000 – 30,000 USD each on his site, and he has a robust side business doing sculptures and presenting them for corporate events.
2. The art world and Semper are both quietly rejoicing the day that the bank removed him from the construction business.