These Crazy Installations Are Made From Something Most People Think Is Trash

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at 2015.11.03
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The installation works of Travis Rice can be anything you want them to be, which is part of what makes them so enchanting. Made from thousands of thin, colorful strips of paper, the installations hang from the ceilings in columns and curtains, or undulate over the floor like living carpets. With a little imagination, they can become ecosystems, sea creatures, Muppets, or anything at all, really. It all depends on how you look at them.

Accumulation, 2013

<em>Accumulation</em>, 2013

Accumulation, 2013

<em>Accumulation</em>, 2013

Rice is okay with that sense of ambiguity. The artist often brainstorms ideas for his shredded paper creations with a quick doodle based on something abstract like an emotion. The doodle is often just a simple mark, which Rice then duplicates digitally to create a larger form.

In their final manifestations, his works mirror the concept, with single strands of shredded paper repeating many times over to create a substantial form. Rice likens the paper strips to brushstrokes, and says he likes for his sculptures to appear frozen in motion. The paper is shredded for each project using a standard document shredder.

Strands, 2006

<em>Strands</em>, 2006

Multiple Universes, 2006

<em>Multiple Universes</em>, 2006

The above installations, called Strands and Multiple Universes, also feature pastel drawings on paper and steel balls suspended from the ceiling, while his signature shredded paper acts as a striking foundation for each piece.

Rainbow Dyed Psychedelic Hallucination, 2012

<em>Rainbow Dyed Psychedelic Hallucination</em>, 2012

Rainbow Dyed Psychedelic Hallucination, 2012

<em>Rainbow Dyed Psychedelic Hallucination</em>, 2012

Here, something normally considered insubstantial becomes a much stronger partition of space.

Aside from the thousands of strips of paper, the most striking features of Rice”s art are the vibrant colors. Drawn to bright colors, Rice says that neon hues are “cynical,” perhaps for their obvious artificiality, or for the lurid quality they lend to an art gallery — a space typically reserved for intellectualism. He also says his love of bright colors comes from a love of Disney cartoons and animation.

Consumable Fragments, 2007

<em>Consumable Fragments</em>, 2007

Consumable Fragments, 2007

<em>Consumable Fragments</em>, 2007

Cotton Candy Cesspool, 2013

<em>Cotton Candy Cesspool</em>, 2013

(via My Modern Met)

Rice also creates paintings and drawings, most of which employ bright colors and repeated forms in the same way his installation art does. You can see more of his work on his website.

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