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Artist Hand-Carves Sheets of Paper to Create Photo-Realistic Celebrity Portraits

Armed with an X-acto knife and a pair of tweezers, Korean artist Yoo Hyun carves intricate, highly realistic portraits of celebrities. His paper-cut portraits look like abstract designs from up-close, but at a distance, the thin slits reveal the faces of movie stars, world leaders, and musicians.

Hyun’s signature style consists of zig-zag patterns, but he doesn’t carve in straight lines. Instead, he varies the thickness of each strip, to create facial features and expressions. Each line specifically adds to the three-dimensional illusion. The negative spaces are see-through, so layering the portrait over a colored surface or pattern adds even more depth. He mostly chooses a black ink-splattered surface, but sometimes he uses bold colors like blue and red to illuminate the portraits.

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