Chris Natrop

cut paper, painted walls, wire, lighting, shadows | 2003

The work in 2003 represent the leap I made in technique from large charcoal drawings in 2001 to pure paper cutouts. Beginning with Sprung and ending with Landscape Blossom Pop, this series shows my evolution from using patterned pre-drawings on the reverse side of the paper to employing only free-form knife drawing. Graphically, the work continued to be a conglomeration of memories, direct observations, and spontaneous formations. I also began to see the potential of the “shadow-scape”, allowing the physical piece of paper to serve as originator to a backdrop of cast-shadows. Suspending and lighting the formations to produce favorable shadowing and painting adjacent walls with specific colors got me moving in the direction of installation art. I also began thinking about how to produce the best photo-documentation possible. I suspended the work in front of custom-painted exhibition walls to produce great contrast and a chromatically charged space. Not knowing anything about photography, I began obsessing on producing spectacular images. Creating a great photographic space is just as important as producing the actual physical space. Part of my motivation was that I knew every installment of a given work would be inherently ephemeral, a particular moment that could not be recreated. Each installation would be temporary, responding to the specific architecture of a particular exhibition space. In that way I knew the essence of my work would be fleeting, and that photographic representation would be all the endures.