Our next talented paper artist comes from Northern California with a background in all things art where his whole family has a background in artistry. You may have seen his work before, but if you haven’t your in for a special treat. He creates these beautiful paper cut masterpieces that are so detailed I can’t even imagine how long they must have taken. His work pays homage to Guilloché patterns, which is a system used to produce a complex series of geometrical patterns which can be seen on currency throughout the world. I can only hope I have the pleasure of seeing these lovely pieces in person one day. Without further ado I present our awesome interview with paper artist Tahiti Pehrson!
Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to what you’re doing now?
Both my parents are artists, so it was in the house growing up. My siblings are into it too. My Brother Galen is showing at the MOCA in May with James Franco’s show Rebel. So check that out. As for me, I was always sick growing up in grade school up until high school. So I fell behind. This really stressed me out, so I kept up on my own with art. From a young age I knew that I would do this, partially out of necessity and partially out of the fact that artists got to wear berets. I did a lot of traveling in search of art after high school on my own and eventually ended up at SFAI for a couple years. I started painting on the streets as a kind of reaction to the critiq-i-ness of the institute. I started cutting out stencils on sticker paper and sticking them in news boxes and rolling around with PEZ and Pneu. So It evolved from there.
What would be your dream creative project?
I plan on concentrating on public space projects next year. I’ll have the paper transferred to metal and work on three-dimensional structures from there.
What tools do you use?
Number 11 blades. Paper Canson or Lenox. My whole thing has changed over the years. but right now, I’ll do patterns on a computer and draw on top of that, so it has multiple dimensions. Then do layers. I don’t do the whole thing on a computer, I don’t like knowing where things are heading completely. You have to discover something in the process that’s what moves it forward. Also there is something about dragging this image into the physical world. The humanness emerges in this current of variation. I like the way that light and shadows are employed directly, in painting that was always kind of a a metaphor, using color to simulate light. I love painting still though. I will go back to it when I’m old.
What can we expect from your future works?
I’ve been in more of a structural mode and working on light distortion using light spectrum. Also thinking a lot about permeable space and cells and membranes. Variation. The organization of things has a commonality from the smallest things to the largest things.
Longer term projects on a larger scale.
What’s your favorite animal?
I can’t choose one. It’s a mood thing. if I was feeling low key I might go with with some kind a finger monkey like a Marmoset. But if I was attending a patriotic seafood dinner I might go with an Eagle.
Are you involved in any upcoming shows or events? Where and when?
Yes. I am happy to announce that I am helping the San Francisco Arts Commission celebrate their 80th anniversary this year. At the Groove St. Gallery on May 4th and it goes thru July 22nd. The pictures I sent are panels that will be part of a larger installation. It’s the most work I have put into a single project so far. Please come out, if I have to promise fun I will.
What’s the weirdest thing you have ever done with paper?
What is a source of inspiration that is not art/design related?
In the last couple years I have been really inspired by Astronomy and Astrophysics. and all things celestial. I’m into Astronomy FM. I’m grasping to understand these things, but it is strangely comforting. I love the “Pale Blue Dot” photo, it’s a great perspective on life. Also the people that free climb El Capitan. It’s like physical faith. It seems like they put themselves back into the animal brain, dealing directly with the physical world.
Who’s your favorite musician?
Well right now I have the Jets, ‘Crush On You’ stuck in my head from 1986. I’ve had Them Hills, Rad Disguise on auto repeat in there too. Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks-Amazing, I got tickets to Pulp. Etta James passed recently. I’ve been loving on the Pixies Doolittle. Then I do some collaboration with KSK Records. Music from Mali, that’s definitely worth checking out. They are finishing up a documentary called Life is Hard, Music is Good. Going to be amazing. So Johnny Marr is my final answer.
When do you consider a piece of your work complete?
When it’s photographed. That is when I can stop caring and move on.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our viewers?
Just thanks to all the people who have supported me this last year and always. Special thanks to Toad, Visser and Roya for coming to all the shows. Thanks Also e-mails and questions from people. I have a new site up I have a new site up where you can buy things and support more projects. www.tahitipehrson.com
Thank you to Jasmine & Strictly Paper. Thank You.
Your welcome and thank you so much Tahiti for taking the time to do an interview with us and be sure to tell us if you have a show in NYC because I would definitely come! To our viewers, be sure to post below with your thoughts and if you know of any artists that work with paper that you would like to be interviewed be sure to shoot us an e-mail. Happy Thursday!