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 future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  2. photo: A man boards a bus in Kansas City, Missouri.
    Transportation

    Why Kansas City’s Free Transit Experiment Matters

    The Missouri city is the first major one in the U.S. to offer no-cost public transportation. Will a boost in subsidized mobility pay off with economic benefits?

  3. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  4. Videos

    A Wonderfully Clear Explanation of How Road Diets Work

    Planner Jeff Speck leads a video tour of four different street redesigns.

  5. Design

    New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

    Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds smash into the city’s buildings every year. The city council just passed a bill to cut back on the carnage.

×