Paper Dolls, a new art exhibit opening in the Leu Center for the Visual Arts on Monday, invites the viewer to imagine a life without limits.
Rory White’s paper doll exhibit features original photographs with paper figures shrunk down into lifelike sets. The artwork allows him to portray anything he wants — from a woman shooting fire to a cat flying a helicopter.
White, also known as RORSHAK, first began taking photographs using paper dolls after he found that his ideas were simply too big to put into practice with his limited funding.
“In old Hollywood, if they didn’t have it, they just painted it, and if you put it back far enough, you believe it,” said White. “Suddenly, instead of not having enough money to make my ideas happen, I realized if I just dehydrate things in size and work small, I can go crazy.”
When White first started making his paper dolls, he would originally try to cut out the rough paper edges with editing software for his final images, but eventually he realized that these imperfections were what made these pieces so interesting.
“I have Photoshopped them out at one time thinking, ‘maybe I need to hide all this,’ but then I realized, maybe I’m going the wrong way.” White said. “Maybe people need to believe in the illusion and then look a little closer and realize it’s either really bad Photoshop, or this is a miniature set. Then maybe they’ll like it more if they know they’ve been faked out.”
What looks like hazardous waste cans and alien plant life in his photos are simply pea cans and chard from Whole Foods put into an entirely new light in his elaborate sets. One of these sets will be available at the gallery for the viewer to see what he works with.
The exhibition runs from Oct. 23 through Dec. 8 during the Leu Center’s open hours, and White will hold an artist talk and reception on Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. in the Leu Center Gallery 121.
Photographs courtesy ofRory White