Adhesive Tape Turned Art

Here on Tapes Supply’s blog, I frequently regale you with crafty ideas and home improvement uses for adhesive tape. I love sharing ideas that help the every-man (or woman) find ways that tape can make their life easier. From kitschy holiday projects like Glow in the Dark Tape for a Hauntingly Splendid Halloween to the infinitely more practical Safety First: Adhesive Tape for Safer Workplaces, we generally help people learn how they can use our products for projects almost anyone could carry out.

Max Zorn, a street artist from the Netherlands, however, has taken DIY adhesive tape projects to the next level. He uses simple packing tape and a blade to create incredible works of art.

He uses Amsterdam’s streetlamps, an iconic staple along the city’s canals, as a medium for his art. In order to hang his street art for display, Zorn literally scales these lamp posts to place the pieces on the glass panels of the old fashioned streetlights. From there, Zorn’s works cause quite the stir. That is, until they are almost inevitably stolen.

Max creates these pieces on a simple piece of acrylic glass. He then layers on packing tape, cutting away pieces with surgical precision. He creates incredibly intricate portraits, landscapes, and more modern pieces all by utilizing the light that shines from the streetlamps. The lamps act like a light box, bringing the work to life. So lifelike, in fact, that many of his pieces look like beautiful, old-timey sepia photographs.

The tape is layered and cut so that the people and places they depict are created from the various amounts of light that shows through the tape in that part of the picture. The parts with the fewest layers of tape shine the brightest, or lightest, and the coloration gets darker with each layer of tape Zorn applies. It takes 15-17 layers of tape to create the darkest parts of Zorn’s works.

Zorn has been an active street artist since 2011, but the impact of his work is being felt beyond the street art scene these days. You can find Zorn’s work in homes and businesses, museums and galleries. His work became so wildly popular, in part, because of YouTube. You can check out his process in live action on his channel, Max Zorn Tape Art. Watching him work is almost mesmerizing, the way he carefully places the tape and then uses a surgeon-like precision to cut away the layers and create the images. While his street art is undoubtedly brilliant and inspired, watching him quickly scale lamp posts to hang it adds an extra level of excitement to his work for street art enthusiasts.

You can purchase his work through his website, www.maxzorn.com. You can also follow along there for information on upcoming exhibitions of his work.

Zorn’s work is magnificent and unique. It’s also inspiring. While Zorn is a skilled professional artist, his use of adhesive tape as a medium opens up all sorts of new worlds to even the most amateur tape user.

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