Shreddy For Your Close-Up



French photographer Damien Blottiere is cutting edge-y

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Usually people use a shredder to get rid of and recycle their stuff, but here’s a case where it’s the defining factor for artistic expression. Damien Blottiere is not only a fashion photographer, he’s also a stylist and an artist who works a lot with paper. His low-fidelity approach to image creation evokes simple school play backdrops, fauvist found-art installations, Dali-esque cubic constructions, and yes, shredded recyclables. It’s this very hand-hewn take that makes his work stand out from the normally sleek and glossy standards of the fashion industry. Blottiere’s props, backdrops and fashion collages provide an unexpected contrast for high fashion clothing, giving his photos an edgy quality.

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all images © Damien Blottiere, courtesy of Art List Paris

But I was particularly drawn to the portraits of male models in his Unraveled series ( top two images, above). Photographs were shredded then pieced back together just barely, resulting in faces that were more than slightly askew. The effect not only gives the images movement and energy, but because of the nature of a shredder, it seems to imply that these were expressions you weren’t supposed to see, like it was information someone wanted to get rid of. If I were to look for deeper meaning, I’d say it’s an unexpected commentary about men and their often hidden feelings.

Of course, he could have just done it for the cool shredding effect.

Whichever the case, it did inspire me to think of men and shredded paper. With Father’s Day approaching, I saw these photographs as inspiration for a masculine but effective way to gift wrap an unusually-shaped gift: a bottle of wine. You usually plop a gift of vino into a pre-made bag and it’s done – no special reveal, no additional trappings before the recipient reads the wine label. But one of the best things about receiving a present is opening up an attractive package. With a bit of effort, you can make even the usual gift of wine into more of an event.

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I used solid colored Kate’s Paperie tissue paper to keep things more masculine, but adding texture through shredding. You can use the folds in the tissue as guides to cut bands of paper, then shred them in even distances along one folded side, to make looped strips. Wrap a bottle of wine with some tissue and secure with tape, then pinch and attach the strips of paper around the bottle with more tape, from the neck down, like the leaves of an artichoke. Alternate colored tissue for added visual appeal until halfway down the bottle. A folded band of tissue around the last shredded band hides all the tape, and a black ribbon coordinates nicely with a very masculine black paper wine bag.

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Obviously a gift of wine would be perfect for any number of occasions, whether as a hostess gift, a graduation or birthday present, or my particular favorite, Just Because. Just change up the colors to suit the occasion or recipient. You can get all the materials for this wine bottle gift wrap at any of the Kate’s Paperie stores.

For more information and inspiring pics from Damien Blottiere, visit his online portfolio on the Art List website.

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George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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