Each of modern papercut artist Jo Chorny’s breathtakingly intricate works is born of deceptively humble beginnings: a simple pencil drawing on a sheet of paper. Yet through hours of patiently meticulous cuts under Chorny’s trained eye, the illustration transforms into something fantastical.
Whether taking on the latest pop culture news, an old Disney favorite, or her favored subject matter—the surrounding natural world, Chorny always manages to imbue each piece with an unrivaled sense of whimsy and magic. In her depictions of aquatic animals, forest dwellers, jungle inhabitants, trees and flowers Chorny proves that she sees patterns in the world the rest of us miss. In her reinterpretations of beloved characters from animation and beyond we are reminded of the enchantment we felt upon our first meetings with them. In her translations of pop culture figures and the natural world, Chorny reimagines what we know in forms more complex and yet more delicately than we could ever see them. Chorny’s work observes our environment and ourselves in microscopic detail, then delivers it back to us reborn.
Using her Instagram account as a digital portfolio, Chorny elevates her work through the addition of photography—each post features one of her papercuts against striking skies or casting dramatic shadows. Seen in the air, Chorny’s papercuts look exquisitely fragile. Her chosen backgrounds showcase fully the texture and the complexity that Chorny achieves through her line work. Jo Chorny’s papercuts let intricacy and simplicity go hand in hand while also proving that beauty does not have to lose its sense of humor. Papercuts are not by any means a new form of art making, but Chorny’s skill as a craftsman never feels anything but fresh, contemporary, and light as air. Requiring only a sharp blade and a steady hand, papercut artist Jo Chorny brings line to life.