I discovered the work of American artist Stephanie Beck while browsing the exhibit proceedings for “Architectures de papier” now showing at the Cite de l’architeture et du patrimoine, an architecture museum located in the Palais de Chaillot (Chaillot Palace).
Beck creates urban landscapes by gluing paper on top of miniature models. In ‘Aviary,’ a downtown skyline is depicted with skyscrapers, construction cranes, and a bridge to nowhere. Look a little closer and it is apparent that each building is also a theatre-prison where various birds live mimicing the roles that we assign ourselves while occupying these spaces. ‘Neighborhood Arrangement #1: Circle’ and ‘Neighborhood Arrangement #2: Maze,’ are inspired by explorations the artist experienced while navigating neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Beck uses the transparent nature of paper and delicate cuts into the paper to show the fleeting and fragile nature of the worlds we inhabit.
The artist says, “I am inspired by our mental and physical experiences of spaces and buildings as we move through them and/or they change over time. In many ways I see buildings and structures as surrogates for ourselves and use them to investigate and illustrate our human frailties… But ultimately I am most driven by a sense of wonder and play.”