From the magnificent depths of his imagination, Brazilian paper artist Marcelo Kato handcrafts visually breathtaking layered paper illustrations that are so intricately detailed, you literally have to look just a bit closer… WOW! This fantasy world, Marcelost World, is a parallel universe he manifested years ago after a cruise through the Mediterranean Sea. From there, the style of his art was drastically influenced, where the sea creatures and patterned motifs in their vibrant colors are all clearly reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Each detail down to the bricks in the architecture of ‘Golden Dragon’ featured above, each lain side by side and meticulously placed, or the itty bitty scales on each fish layered ever so perfect down to their fun patterned outfits in ‘Golden Coral’ below is absolutely mind-boggling!
“I believe there are no great secrets, it’s a cut and paste sequence that takes time to finish.” – Marcelo Kato
In this series above and below, ‘Golden Coral’, you can see how he plays with the patterns on the fish, sea creatures and even the vase held by the mermaid.
Kato is currently based in both Japan and Brazil and has shared a bit of his process with us. For his paper sculptures he uses scissors, a stylus, tweezers, and paper glue, and does everything free hand and for repetitive small details he uses craft punches. He first begins with a draft to review the overall sizing, and also to make sure that it fits in the final frame. The papers are generally Canson Mi-Teintes, but he has often used a similarly textured Japanese paper called Mermaid Paper, due to the wide variety of colors available. He tells Strictlypaper, “To bend the paper, I use the corner of the table, toothpicks, pens or any other cylindrical instrument according to the type of curvature that I intend to give to the paper.”
In the specific case of the clock paper illustration of the mermaid entitled ‘Sea Time’ featured above, Kato used a battery operated clock mechanism, easily found in DIY stores (in Japan). A simple wooden base was created to attach the clock mechanism to the base of the frame, where a rectangular hole was placed in the back of the frame to allow the batteries to easily be replaced.
You can find more of his work on his website or follow him on Instagram at @marcelotkato.