Matthew Picton

Artist Matthew Picton evokes specific historical events or time periods with the art, text, even paper he chooses to use.

Matthew Picton pulls off a neat artistic trick -- not only does he create sculptures of cities, he also layers in their histories.

In his series "Paper Sculptures," Picton creates hand-cut and folded paper 3D street grids. He also incorporates art, text, or even special paper to evoke something specific about the city (often, a historical event or time period). So, for example, Picton's London "Great Fire" of 1666 map depicts burned illustrations of 17th century street life. In the case of Las Vegas, Picton uses neon green paper decorated solely by the words from Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

It's a concept that stemmed from Picton's eagerness to add more depth to his early map art. "I started to want to introduce more elements of actual text and history," he says, adding that he "started trying to imagine as to how to sculpt the spaces in between the streets."

One of the biggest challenges, he says, is deciding what highlight. "Enough history has to be read and understood in order to be able to select and place the literature," Picton says. "Lately the challenge has been assimilating all the reading required to produce a work."

Picton's "Paper Sculptures" will be on exhibit at the Toomey Tourell Fine Art gallery in San Francisco from June 6 to July 14. An eBook with his works, Urban Histories; A Fictional Perspective, is also available for sale.

Below, a look at some of the maps:

Dallas (Kennedy assassination)
Dallas (Kennedy assassination)
Jerusalem
Jerusalem
London (Great Fire, 1666)
London (Great Fire, 1666)
Las Vegas (text from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas")


 

New York City (9/11)
New York City (9/11)
Portland
Portland
San Francisco (1906 earthquake and fire)
San Francisco (Earthquake and fire, 1906)
Venice (with references to Thomas Mann’s 1911 novel "Death in Venice")
Venice (with references to Thomas Mann’s 1911 novel "Death in Venice")

Moscow (French invasion of Russia, 1812)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A map of apartment searches in the U.S.
    Maps

    Where America’s Renters Want to Move Next

    A new report that tracks apartment searches between U.S. cities reveals the moving aspirations of a certain set of renters.

  2. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks at Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  3. Equity

    Why I Found My Community in a Starbucks

    I was reluctant to support a corporate chain. But in my neighborhood, it’s one of the only places I could have formed a relationship with someone like Sammy.

  4. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  5. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

×