it's just paper

“Daily #15" 2011, Framed dye transfer print

I’ll just get straight to the point and then let you stare at your computer screen for the next 20 minutes: Thomas Demand makes models out of paper, photographs them, and then destroys the model. You’re not looking at a fence or a bathroom; there is no metal, concrete, or glass: these are photographs of paper. That’s it.
“Daily #14” 2011, Framed dye transfer print

The photographs are currently on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York and are well worth a visit in person, not just to inspect every detail on the larger originals, but to delight in the fact that you are looking at a photograph of paper… on paper.
“Daily #9” 2009, Framed dye transfer print
“Daily #9” 2009, Framed dye transfer print

“Daily #11” 2009, Framed dye transfer print
“Daily #11” 2009, Framed dye transfer print

Why not just show the model? My theory is that beyond demonstrating an INSANE skill of meticulous cutting, folding, and matching (I’m convinced he must have the largest and most varied paper collection in human history), these are as much about light as they are about paper. And not just shadows – notice the specific type of light in every photograph: The bathroom is convincing as much for the tiles as it is for that unique quality of light only FOUND in bathrooms.
“Daily #3” 2008, Framed dye transfer print
“Daily #3” 2008, Framed dye transfer print

But here’s where it gets really cool: Thomas Demand isn’t just impressing, he’s playing. In the bathroom image above, that’s not a mirror. Though translucent and reflective papers apparently pass his “paper only” rule, glass does not. Instead of using a mirror, Demand appears to have created a second room to act as the reflection. And reconsider the first image of the cup in the chain-link fence – not only has he “remade” the paper cup from paper, but the cup is actually FAR stronger than the paper fence and threatens to do real damage to it. For the hotel door below, the “do not disturb” sign is the only thing in the photograph that would be paper in real life, AND Demand has angled it nearly parallel to the surface of the paper on which it’s printed – meaning you could presumably cut it out and actually use it as what it represents.
“Daily #12” 2009, Framed dye transfer print

If you can’t make it to New York and want a closer look at these images and more, the gallery has anticipated your wish and created a great “zoom” tool online. Follow the link here, select any individual image, and click on “zoom” (top right) to open a slider at the bottom.
What: Thomas Demand: Dailies
Where: Matthew Marks Gallery, 526 W 22nd St, New York, NY
When: November 2, 2013 – December 21, 2013

[via Design Milk]

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.