A single sheet of paper, folded many times
November 5, 2007 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Eric Joisel may be the greatest living origami artist. Here is how he does it. Here is a short documentary about him.
posted by aeschenkarnos (20 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Truly fantastic. I like the sealife and the humans the best.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:36 PM on November 5, 2007

Yeah, this stuff is amazing. I wonder if he would or does get any respect from the "serious" art world. I think even just the patterns he draws up are beautiful.
posted by Burns Ave. at 12:04 AM on November 6, 2007

That's mind-blowing.

I love his dachshund. Even though it's by comparison really simple, it's so... dog-like.

posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:09 AM on November 6, 2007

Very cool stuff.
posted by maxwelton at 12:13 AM on November 6, 2007

The narration on the documentary was a bit over-the-top, but his work is truly amazing.
posted by barnacles at 12:19 AM on November 6, 2007

The camera work was actually worse. Don't do split-screen handheld close ups, jeez.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:39 AM on November 6, 2007

That's all well and good, but can he make the famous origami 'golden shower', in which the piss changes colour mid-stream? A ten foot tall penis? Two people going at it, doggy style?

All this and more at the remarkable Origami Underground.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:57 AM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

I love to see him compete in a no-holds-barred origami duel. :p

Humor aside, I wonder if there's anything topologically special to explore his particular style of folding?
posted by PsychoKick at 2:23 AM on November 6, 2007

Joisel has mastered the art of the pleat:
His touch must truly be neater than neat.
Start with paper, one square.
Crease and fold. (Do not tear!)
And the result: l'essence vraie de bull-sheet.
posted by rob511 at 2:26 AM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Rule #35: there's origami of it. No exceptions.
posted by Iosephus at 2:28 AM on November 6, 2007

His work is good but without exaggeration that may be the worst documentary I've ever seen. Truly atrocious.
posted by dobbs at 5:43 AM on November 6, 2007

It's good. Not formal sculpture (the art of taking away) but still impressive.
posted by stbalbach at 5:53 AM on November 6, 2007

Wow. Beautiful. And each work has such character.
I'm all the more impressed because I never got beyond frogs in my brief adolescent origami obsession.

Not that there's anything wrong with frogs.
posted by bassjump at 6:07 AM on November 6, 2007

Joisel's Shell (2003) vs. Tatlin's Tower (1919).

Love the annoyed Rat and wonderful textures, too.
posted by cenoxo at 6:17 AM on November 6, 2007

His work looks great, but I dunno, I think the charm and elegance that one sees in old-school Japanese origami is that they'll capture the essence of an animal or object with as few folds as possible. It makes the brain work more than the million-fold realism this guy attains.
posted by picea at 7:01 AM on November 6, 2007

I wonder if he would or does get any respect from the "serious" art world.

Why on earth would you assume he didn't/doesn't? The man is talented and does amazing work. Also, what was up with those condescending quotation marks around serious? I think the art world isn't nearly as snobby as you seem to imagine.
posted by piratebowling at 7:21 AM on November 6, 2007

picea - exactly. I've been trying to put my finger on why I don't find his stuff so compelling and that's it. I think he's brilliantly talented, but there is just something so elegant about the simplicity of traditional origami.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:23 AM on November 6, 2007

My girlfriend and I just happened to stop by the Origami Now exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and got to see some of Joisel's paper sculptures up close. His pangolin was utterly amazing.

folks interested in the connection between mathematics and the 'new school' origami that's being produced by folks like Joisel might also be interested in an old radio interview with laser physicist-turned-origami artist Robert Lang
posted by bl1nk at 7:44 AM on November 6, 2007

PeterMc, loved that naughty Origami Underground.
posted by nickyskye at 10:51 AM on November 6, 2007

So I'm way late to the game here - but two days after this post, I was in Vancouver BC at the 2007 Pacific Coast Origami Convention. One of my main goals in attending was to spend some time talking with Eric Joisel. His work is absolutely amazing.

While I understand the whole "simplicity is important" thing, and I'm fully onboard with the "complete realism doesn't make things better by default" mind set, I have to say that Joisel really sets new levels for the origami world as a whole. I find his work extremely evocative and interesting; it's often rather comical, which I am not necessarily fond of, but it's also *art* rather than just rote repetition of creases and folds. It's hard to explain until you've really seen it up close and in person.

To speak on the real art front: Joisel has had his work on display in the Louvre, which I would chalk up as a pretty good accomplishment for any artist, regardless of what you might think of the work itself.

Anyway, I love it when the Blue seems to post articles about things that are intensely topical to my life- both in subject and in timing! fascinating.
posted by EricGjerde at 9:58 PM on November 17, 2007

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