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Arts & Culture

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The Daily City Cardboard Art Festival returns to Orange Studio

Live Active Cultures

Photo: Photo of Kattya Graham by Em Schaefer, License: N/A

Photo of Kattya Graham by Em Schaefer


But in the end, it all comes back to the art, and one question: Why cardboard? I posed that question to each artist, and despite the diversity of their works, their answers were strikingly similar. Cardboard’s advantages are that “it’s free; it’s something that’s relatable to everybody,” Rhodehamel says. “They can imagine themselves making something out of it, and appreciate how much work goes into it. Also, you can be very precise with it or very organic. It’s very adaptable. … It takes on a life of its own; the cardboard will tell you what it’s going to do.”

Miga, who scouts “special spots with choice cardboard” to go dumpster-diving for materials, praises it as “so ordinary, yet so diverse as a medium. You can paint it, sculpt it, rip it up … it is so versatile. People think it’s interesting when something so boring becomes extraordinary art.”

“For some reason, cardboard is hot right now,” O’Connor says. “If you’re on Pinterest there are a million ‘cardboard’ folders. … It’s sexy, it’s overlooked, it’s kind of street but if you do it right it can be really chic.” And ultimately, the medium has one great advantage:

“If it’s not [good], it’s just fucking cardboard, who cares? You can recycle it!”

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