A suit sitting at a desk with hands and face covered in paper cranes.

Craneface

2010

When I finally hit the first 500 cranes, much in my life had changed. The project (and the guilt associated from its lack of progress) consumed me, so I wanted take a picture commemorating the moment I reached the halfway mark.

The practical function of a portrait is to show a person’s face, an element that acts as an emblem of individuality. However, by masking the face, as I have done in this image, one’s individuality is removed or suppressed, and exchanged for another’s.

The Craneface, to me, is a juxtaposition of two different notions of work. I purposely used a suit as the basis of the figure because it connotes images of the modern worker and is the uniform of choice for bureaucracies around the world. I see the suit as representing this faceless notion of work, one in which we all just become squirrels fighting for the largest nut beneath the corporate tree. The origami cranes, on the other hand, represent an intimate notion of work, as origami is something that must be made by hand. There is no machine that can fold origami for you. Anyone who has ever folded even simple origami knows it can be frustrating process that requires a human’s touch.

A good friend (and collector) once described her reading of this work to me as “…something along the lines of forced conformity feverishly peculating into some kind of chaos and anxiety.” Which I also quite like.

This image is currently available as a fine art print in my Art Shop.

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