Peter Callasen

Peter Callesen

Peter Callesen (1967) is a Danish artist and author renowned for his talent in combining the minimalism of a big crisp white sheet of paper with the complexity of meticulously cut and folded paper and uses the two to build out some aesthetically pleasing compositions. He uses A4 sheets of paper and changes them into a 3 dimentional piece of art as you can see on the example to the left. This artist might not be linked directly into the 'memories' project but I really like the techniques that hes used and want to develop some of them into my final piece and other experiments.

My first impression of his art was that he could create something very complex out of something simple.

As I look at the artwork, I see that the section that was cut out, matches the hole in the piece of paper. This tells us that the artwork has been cut and formed into a sculpture perfectly from what was cut out. It tells us that the artist uses a high level of accuracy and skill to be able to cut the shapes with such precision.

The main formal elements in this artwork are pattern, tone and shape. It's a sculpture made from a piece of paper and te beginning piece didn't have any form to it. As the cutting begins, the artwork slowly gains shape and tone. The texture stays the same since it's a flat piece of paper, however there are areas such as the joints of the skeletal hand that change the texture a little bit. The patter in simple to follow, but looks very complex. Cutting out a shape of the hand doesn't seem too difficult, but the process of turning it into a skeletal hand is very difficult.

The artwork itself sets me into a calm and curious mood. Its smooth which makes it easy to absorb and you look at it with a sense or curiosity which makes you want to know how this artwork was folded together. The artist created this mood by not showing the process of how he made it. This way it forces you to think for yourself if you want to figure out how this was made. The choice of shape itself creates a calm mood. To me, the skeleton represents something that has ended. It makes you think like there is nothing to worry about.
I really like this piece of work because it uses an usual technique that I haven't seen any other artist use before and he also works with simple material which is an A4 sheet of paper. The way he changed this into a 3D sculpture is what really interests me in this work.
I think the process in making this must have been very difficult. There isn't any marking which means that it was made freely with hand and cutting knife. It's hard to be accurate even when designing such cuts on a machine and to be able to do it by hand is very impressive.

My responses to Peter Callesen include work from the items I collected over summer in my box file. I started with trying to do a response using my wallet. This was the first one I made and it was the least successful. Peter Callesen created items that were fully attatched to the piece of paper he started with. I did not realise it when I created the first responce and most of the wallet was cut out away which isn't what the artist did with his work. I slowly started doing that when I carried on to the other side of the wallet. The pockets were cut so that they were still attatched to piece, but hung out from the side.

Zip Card
The second responce I created was more successful. I used my old oyster card because it had a range of small and bigger shapes which would make the responce interesting as it would seem like there is a lot happening when everything was cut out. I started with cutting out the big 'ZiP' letter in the middle. It gave me a base to work around.
The next thing I cut was the stripes in the background. I wanted to get rid of all the bigger parts so that it could give me a clear way to the smaller ones E.g. after cutting the stripes in the background, it was easy to cut the underground logo in the top right.
Peter Callesen never got rid of card when he was cutting it. It always hung down or to the side still sttatched to the piece of card. I lfolded each piece I cut to the side as there was too much of it to make it drop to the bottom.
The biggest obstacle I faces was cutting out the letters. They were way too small to cut with a knife. I was forced to create a cartoony way of drawing letters which is simply putting a zig-zag to where the letter would usually be.


  1. Well done Adam you have demonstrated here ''Evidence of a well-developed understanding in the explanation of the use of visual language in others’ work''. I hope that Callesen will be an influence as you work towards your final outcome for this project.

  2. Really indepth responce,you could use this as a template for the rest of them, you could enhance this post by adding your on responce to his work, good job :)