danny schieble / self portrait
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This self portrait of Danny Schieble is a museum quality work which demonstrates the range and versatility of Tapigami. It is a combination of thousands of cut tape elements taking weeks to place. All this work was necessary to give the impression of continuous tone on first viewing but also creates a surface of complex texture unique to this piece of Tapigami.
The portraits are a culmination of the refinement of working with tape everyday for 17 years. For me art is the proof of our own words. I have always strived to transform the material of tape into something that is completely unrecognizable as tape. The portrait is a complete transformation of the material to another state of being. The ability to perform such a feat for me is a benchmark of what makes art become art.
The portraits I are equal parts mind numbing and intensely emotional works to create. Each portrait contains thousands and thousands of individually hand cut components or tape cells. Each tape cell is cut from a tube of tape that is 10-40 layers thick. Each tube is made up of its own unique patterned layers of tape. The tape is layered between black and white to create a grayscale when the tube is cut open. The process of creating the material for each portrait takes up to a month. The tubes are cut by hand using a pair of sewing scissors. The cut pieces are then sorted by gradation. The cells are applied individually to the surface of the panel. The application process of the cells is very slow and requires methodical precision not only in placement but also in selection. The placement of the cells can take up to five months.
I did hundreds of studies for myself portrait practicing shading with the cells on abstract works. This was a piece I realized I could probably make in 2012. I was putting off doing my portrait because I wanted to get it just right, but that is never a possibility. In 2015, I was contacted by the company 3M to do a story on me for their company's internal news organization. I seized this opportunity to make the portrait.