reminiscent of…

In “Do What You Have To Do“, David Thorpe constructs a utopian setting of council blocks, giving a sense of glamour to the banal.

"Do what you have to do" - 1998, Paper Cut-Out 142 x 170cm, by David Thorpe.

Lesson / Koan : Be a cut-up.

David Thorpe is an artist who lives and works in London. Thorpe crafts the sublime from scissors and glue – intricate scenes of urban paradise made up of precision cut layers of paper, reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts, or Casper David Friedrich paintings. ( CUPtopia’s post – all hands… 12.21.10 )


David Thorpe’s early collages exhibit all the painstaking labour of his involved process. Inspired by Victorian shadow puppets and Japanese woodcuts, “Kings of the Night” is deceiving in its complexity made simple.

"Kings of The Night" - 1998, Paper Collage 149 x 168cm, by David Thorpe.

Constructed entirely from cut and pasted sheets of paper, Thorpe uses only 5 colours to create this romantic scene of lonely South London tower blocks. Planning his image in ascending layers he creates an improbable sense of space: the buildings laid over sky, orange windows over buildings; each element convincingly self-contained and distanced with illusionary depth. The tress and plants are flawlessly cut in their doily-like intricacy from one solid sheet of card; the final details of a sublime world astoundingly reproduced in 2-dimensional kid-craft.


Thorpe’s work is concerned with the relationship between objects and their makers, with a particular interest in the role of craft and labour in handmade design and art.

"Forever" - 1998, Paper Collage 36 x 145cm, by David Thorpe.

I’m playing with certain associations,” he has said, “slightly New Age, slightly Space Age…I’m absolutely in love with people who build up their own systems of belief.” This idea is reflected in works that reference modernist principles of object-making & utopian social architecture