Eric Joisel was one of the most gifted origami artists the world has ever seen, and even though he recently passed away, he lives on through his amazing folded paper masterpieces.
Eric Joisel dedicated most of his life to art, in many of its forms, including drawing and sculpting. He took up origami in 1983, and just four years later had his first exhibition, in Paris. It was proof of his immense talent, but the French artist knew that it took a lot more hard work to take his art to the highest possible level. Whenever someone asked him how long it took him to finish one of his paper artworks, he would say “35 years, because that is how long it has taken me to get to this level.”
Unlike the paper boats or birds people usually associate with the art of origami, Joisel’s works are more like paper sculptures created from a single sheet of paper. The blueprint for a single figure could take several years to complete, and the folding process lasted hundreds of hours, but the result was truly magnificent. By dampening the sheet of paper, the artist could curve it into intricate shapes, allowing him to create details like furrowed brows or veined hands. Some of his larger creations, like the paper rhino you’re about to see below, were created from giant sheets of paper, measuring 15 feet by 25 feet (about the size of a studio apartment).
Although his works sold for thousands of dollars, Eric Joisel lived in a modern farmhouse, and spent several hours a day working on his origami sculptures. He died on October 10, 2010, from lung cancer. He was just 53 years old, and had so much more to give to the art world…