Patrick Gannon’s artwork is created entirely of cut-paper (and often wood) in his studio in Fukuoka, Japan, where he lives with his amazing wife and a very, very large collection of paper from all over the world.
At once dark and playful, pensive and optimistic, his work explores spirit and concept with the gorgeous textures of hand-made papers. His artwork brings together his life and experiences in urban Japan with his upbringing on a farm in New Jersey where he was surrounded and occasionally attacked by animals and the natural world. Fascinated from an early age by the mythology and fables created to explain the world around us, he builds up layers of paper and meaning to explore and reveal.
After studying literature at Providence College, Rhode Island, he went on to receive his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His work has been published in books, magazines, and newspapers. He has exhibited at galleries throughout the United States and Japan.
Cut-paper art has it's origins in China, about a day-and-a-half after paper itself was invented. Since then, the tradition has spread to every continent, evolving in new and intriguing directions. Patrick is thrilled to be part of such a distinguished tradition, and he's constantly excited to see what new directions the medium can be pushed in.
As a paper cutter, I endeavor to create a dialog between the traditional technique of paper cutting (kirie) and contemporary art and thought, thus allowing these narratives and concepts to reflect and comment upon universal expressions of the human condition. My process pendulums between deliberate and intuitive, tightly controlled technique and flights of the imagination.
Thematically, I'm fascinated by the often-violent, often-sublime convergence of humankind, the natural world, and our secret personal mythologies. Relationships form the core of my work; most recently the symbiotic and parasitic alliances and inter-dependencies which spring to life in congested urban environments as well as in our more personal microcosms. My inter-cultural life, first in Tokyo and now in Fukuoka, informs my thought-process with those most human of needs - acceptance, inclusion, communication. Mythology, American pop culture and Japanese tradition mingle in the work, giving form to a wondrous, dangerous and familiarly alien world of emotion, spirit and thought.
There is a primitive quality to paper. It is rough, textured, basic, pure. Jagged-edged cuts crash against soft curves and spirals. Deep, tactile textures and saturated colors flow alongside ancient patterns and the natural grain of wood. The technique I use to assemble these cut-paper pieces blurs the boundary between flat and dimensional. Each piece is assembled like a puzzle; shapes, colors and textures slide into place, create form and focus, add context and meaning. Receding layers sink back into the work while others burst out from the surface. Light and shadow play along the rough folds and layers, creating a work that exists in real space, that asks to be touched, that yearns to connect.
Selected Exhibitions ( * solo / featured shows )
- 猫とドラゴン展 「Cats & Dragons」,Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo
- 福岡魂「Fukuoka Soul」, Solaria Plaza, ゼファ」, Fukuoka
- 怪 (Kai), Gallery G2, Ginza, Tokyo
- Tokay Gecko Award 2012 Exhibition, Galerie RECOLTE, Fukuoka
- 怪, Gallery G2, Ginza, Tokyo
- World Cut-Paper Art Exhibition, Fujikawa Kirie Art Museum, Yamanashi, Japan
- Verge Return, Gallery G2, Ginza, Tokyo
- Verge Art Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
- New Moon 2011: interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac, myplasticheart, New York, NY
- Outside Looking In, 3-man Show, C.A.V.E Gallery, Venice, CA
- Cut It Up! Contemporary Papercutters' Exhibition, Ann Street Gallery, Newburgh, NY
- 2010 SCBWI Tokyo Illustrators Exhibition, Gallery Malle, Tokyo
- *Night of the Yokai – Patrick Gannonの摩訶不思議な切絵展 Solo Show, Gallery Enyen, Tokyo
- American Comics Exhibition 2010, Gallery Kopis, Tokyo
- 風雷貌 / A Wind-Swept and Thunderous Countenance, Gallery G2, Tokyo
- はさみの音 – The Sound of Scissors, Niji Gallery, Tokyo
- *The Way of Flow, C.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice, CA
- 風雷暴, Gallery G2, Ginza, Tokyo
- Battle Royal, Gallery 1988, San Francisco
- 自由への拡大図 magnifying freedom (仮), Makii Masaru Fine Arts,
- Asakusabashi, Tokyo
- New Moon: interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac, myplasticheartnyc,
- New York
- IDIOT BOX, Gallery 1988 Los Angeles, CA
- Heart Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building, Tokyo, Japan
- Love Winter Tokyo , Gallery G2, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
- Puddletown, Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
- ToyQube 4th Anniversary Party and Sharky Show, The Sullivan Room,
- New York, NY
- Paper Pushers, Gallery 1988 San Francisco, CA
- Toys, Gallery 1988 Los Angeles, CA, April
- Under the Influence: A Tribute To Stan Lee, Gallery 1988
- Los Angeles, CA
- Paper Pushers, Gallery 1988 San Francisco, CA
- Verge Art Brooklyn, (exhibition catalog) published by Brooklyn Arts Council etc., 2011.
- The New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques Ayako Brodek and Claire Waite Brown, Quarto Publishing, 2011.
- A Constellation Album: Stars and Mythology of the Night Sky P.K. Chen, Sky Publishing, 2007.
- Bran Book 2006 Jim Stafford, 2006.
Publications and Online Media
- The Japan Times
- Visual News
- The Argonaut (pdf)
- the Stupid Mammals
- Venice Patch
- Design Taxi (interview)
- Newburgh Restoration
- Redefine Magazine
- ABACO Magazine
- Artist A Day
- Create Magazine
- The Portland Mercury
- Times Herald Record