To Dream, to Collect

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Matt Shlian

1980 Connecticut, United States

2 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist

Born in 1980 in the United States in Connecticut, Matt Shlian has developed an original language at the crossroads of art and science.
Trained in ceramics, notably at Alfred University and Cranbrook, he does not claim any affiliation, considering his work on the fringe of any artistic movement.
He quickly became interested in digital printing and paper, which he appreciated the delicacy and immediacy.
Matt Shlian tackles the creation of a scientific point of view, leading him to surround himself with researchers from the University of Michigan. Together, they work on a nanoscale to study paper structures. An ideal support in his opinion, to illustrate cell division, the development of solar cells. These scientific observations are a first step. The execution process depends on accurate surgical planning and measurements.
However, the most important remains the initial fold. This first action that will cause as a sequence of dominoes a transfer of energy to the following folds. And it is also through arbitrary incidents and as construction progresses that the movement is created, giving birth to fascinating compositions in which force transcends the lightness of paper.

« As a paper engineer, my work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. Beginning with an initial fold, a single action causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds, which ultimately manifest in drawing and three dimensional forms. I use my engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture which have led to collaborations with scientists at University of Michigan. We work on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro folds. Our investigations extend to visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principles; I see their inquiry as a basis for artistic inspiration. In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor. I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity. »

Matt Shlian

Works by Matt Shlian

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