Simon Schubert, The Paper-folding Maestro


Simon Schubert rings a bell in the world of art-enthusiasts for a variety of reasons, but the most prominent one among these remains his genius mastery over the simple piece of paper. 

The artist, often known as the paper ghost, was born in 1979, in Germany, and has been a loyal dweller of Cologne. 

Simon Schubert, The Paper-folding Maestro

First glance at his art will reveal a palace so white it might prick the eye. This glance, thoughtless as it might be, doesn’t last for long. As you keep looking at his pieces, the first thing to hit you is the eerie absence of a human presence. 

Patterned with details lies paper architecture, as if uninhabited or now abandoned. 

Even though his paper folding can oftentimes look like real places, at the end of the day, it is just that – pieces of paper folded into perfection.

But how did this come to be?

Simon created his first folded paperwork, a portrait of Samuel Beckett – an author he admires – as a challenge to himself. He had been wanting to reduce material and technique involved , and at the same time wanted to illustrate Beckett’s absurdist philosophy, the “fading into white”. This reduction took form in number out of his paper folding ins and has been displayed in several art galleries. 

How does Schubert approach his work as a folder of papers?

The idea is simple. Schubert considers himself a sculptor, and the rest follows. When working with flattened paper, he uses various techniques to create reliefs. This technique helps him achieve a realistic illusionary result.

Where does the artist find inspiration?

From literature. From the films. Fine arts, and all that. 

Literature, though, is the crux of his imagination and inspiration. The artist admits having researched the places where Edgar Allen Poe lived for one of his shows. 

What spectators perceive and feel while looking at Schubert’s paper foldings

Observers are stripped of expectation and judgement the moment they really see Schubert’s work. Left in a dreamy state, fading into a white world, the white world of empty, many spectators have admitted to feeling bare after looking at Schubert’s art for too long. Chiseled down to the minimum, Schubert’s technique allows us to do the same, as we fade into the white. 

What is the one thing he can’t live without in his studio?

“Eraser, definitely eraser”, Schubert laughs. “I need it to clear things from my paper, sometimes cat trails”. 

Simon Schubert is a lot more than just a folder of papers into perfection. He’s a sculptor, a graphite-on-paper artist, an innovator and, undoubtedly, a demonstrator of the aesthetic.

If you liked this article, you may also like Johnson Tsang’s Ceramic Sculptures Invite You To Dig Deeper Into The Quotidian


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