Take a close look at the above photo. Can you tell what it's made of?
At first glance, we couldn't either. And that is, in part, what makes Christi Kaplan's work so remarkable. Her "selfie" portraits, made for her High School AP Art capstone project, are carefully constructed from stockings and strips of VELCRO® Brand product.
Her exploration of the materials started serendipitously. Suggested first by her teacher, Christi "fell in love with the medium," and has since created a collection of pieces that has received ongoing acclaim.
Entered into the Philips Mill art show, Christi won first place amongst entries from 20 schools in the area. The second, and even more prestigious award, came from the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) show - a state-wide competition where her piece won 1st place for 2D Mixed Media. Not only that, her piece (below) was chosen to be included in their private collection.
We asked Christi about her creative process and here's what she shared:
"The title of my series is called “selfies”, so i asked my friends to take selfies of themselves which I use as the base. I then use a computer technique to abstract the pictures, pulling out the key features. To prepare the self-made “canvas”, I glue 2” strips of VELCRO® hook onto a cardboard backing. Then I sketch the image onto my self-made canvas. I then cut up pieces of nylon stockings and stretch them across the hooks to create the image. Throughout the process, Velcro® Brand products made the piece very forgiving and easy to adjust until I got the image just the way I like it."
Soon, Christi is off to pursue her talents at a liberal arts college in California. We can't wait to see what she'll create next.