Ipso facto X-Acto
Any way you slice it, nothing’s quite like paper art. Traditional papel picado is a cheerful, humble Mexican papercraft often used to adorn and embellish public spaces. But ¡Papel! Pico, Rico y Chico, opening at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Friday, June 20, at 6pm, proves the form’s wondrous flexibility. Featuring four artists who each boast singular talent and determination, the exhibit shows off what can be achieved by brilliant design using paper painstakingly snipped and trimmed by hand.
Catalina Delgado-Trunk’s delightfully bold and graphic aesthetic seems as much influenced by the ornate, stylized florals of Wycinanki (Polish cut-paper design) as it does by the iconic calavera woodcuts of José Guadalupe Posada. Cay Garcia’s softer approach treats paper as paint, layering flat fields of color and warm textures to compose portraits and daily scenes. Kai Margarida-Ramírez, whose papel picado has been known to bear saucy messages like “Thank you for the STD,” shows off her more serious side in family photos taken by her great-grandmother that she augments and excises with geometric silhouettes obscuring those pictured. And Josie Mohr renders fairy tale exploits in splendid, immediately recognizable tableaux. ¡Papel! continues through January 2015; nhccnm.org or 246-2261 have the details.