Talented Artist Carves Layered Portraits into Pieces of Cardboard

English artist Giles Oldershaw has a very unique talent. He can take discarded pieces of cardboard, the kind pizza boxes are made of, and turn them into amazing portraits of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe or Marlon Brando using only the cardboard’s layers to highlight their features.

58-year-old Giles Oldershaw is not the world’s first artist to choose cardboard as his favorite medium. Renowned artist Chris Gilmour has been building detailed cardboard landscapes for years, and Scott Fife’s realistic cardboard busts have won him international acclaim, but Giles sets himself apart through his unique creative process. He begins by drawing the outlines of his portraits on a piece of cardboard with a pencil, then uses an assortment of tools like tweezers, scalpels and scissors to remove certain layers of corrugation, card and protective coating to give his artworks more depth. The actor-turned-artist says no ink, paint or charcoal of any kind is used to highlight the facial features of his subjects. From a distance, Oldershaw’s portraits resemble sepia paintings, but on closer inspection, the images reveal the high level of technical skill involved in their creation.


Giles says his fascination with making useful and beautiful things out of stuff most people throw away can be traced back to his childhood. When he was six years old, he and his family left their comfortable house in England and moved to the Australian outback where there were so few materials to work with that he was forced to be inventive. Later, he moved to New Zealand where he remembers a nearby dump was like a treasure chest full of useful things to repair. He discovered his talent for dissecting cardboard as a student, when a tutor asked him to bring an unusual self-portrait, and he made one out of corrugated cardboard. The feedback was so good it inspired him to pursue his discovery further.


If you would like to have your face or that of a loved one masterfully carved into a piece of cardboard, you’ll be happy to know Giles also does commission pieces. You can get in touch with him via his website.








Photos © Giles Oldershaw

Source: Giles Oldershaw

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