CULTURE & ARTS

Insanely Intricate Hand-Cut Paper Artworks View The Internet As Modern-Day Religion

For many people who identify as religious, praying is the first activity upon waking up and the last before going to bed. For many in the social media generation, this pious ritual has been replaced with a morning Instagram scroll, a mid-day Tweet and a goodnight Facebook scan.

Artist Carlo Fantin explores the relation between religious observance and social media obsession through a series of wildly detailed hand-cut paper artworks. Made with only construction paper and a craft knife, the black-and-white images echo the ornate stained glass tableaux that often adorn church windows, with added touches particular to the contemporary age. Images of prayer, all clasped hands and covered heads, are interspersed with internet savvy symbols we recognize all too well -- the Facebook "like," the Twitter bird, the perfectly square Instagram cam. The images, both viscerally stunning and thought-provoking, raise questions about what we value and revere in this bizarre internet age.

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"Growing up in Italy, and having a devoutly Catholic mother, I spent many Sunday mornings in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, which was our local church," Fantin explained to The Huffington Post. "It is there that I first experienced art through the icons of various saints and the Virgin Mary displayed throughout the cathedral. I have always been fascinated with the iconographic style and with the relationship between religious worship and contemporary obsessions. Often these two worlds collide, and the result is a society that displays religious devotion for modern fixations."

"Italians venerate an endless numbers of saints and pay special reverence to the Virgin Mary," added the artist. "The devotion to each saint is specific to the type of preoccupation you are afflicted with. In my art, I attempt to capture the similarity between Catholic worship and veneration of religious figures with obsession with social networking and the idolatry of internet popularity. In a way, theorizing that the internet has become our modern-day religion; social networks are our contemporary churches; and internet celebrities have becomes the saints and Virgin Mary of today."

Take a look at Fantin's dizzying commentaries below.

  • The Two Madonnas
    The Two Madonnas
  • Philippians
    Philippians
  • The Sacred Facebook Heart
    The Sacred Facebook Heart
  • Luke
    Luke
  • Collective Imagery
    Collective Imagery
  • Madonna de los Muertos
    Madonna de los Muertos
  • Madonna De Los Followers De Twitter
    Madonna De Los Followers De Twitter
HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Two Masks (The Tomato) (Deux Masques [La Tomate]), 1947. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted.
    Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Two Masks (The Tomato) (Deux Masques [La Tomate]), 1947. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 18¾ x 20 3/8 (47.7 x 51.8 cm). Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Marron, New York. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Blue Nude II (Nu bleu II), spring 1952. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper,
    Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Blue Nude II (Nu bleu II), spring 1952. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper, mounted on canvas. 45 ¾ x 35” (116.2 x 88.9 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Purchase, 1984. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Matisse’s studio, Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1953. Photo: Lydia Delectorskaya. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse
    Matisse’s studio, Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1953. Photo: Lydia Delectorskaya. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse
  • Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Two Dancers (Deux danseurs), 1937-38. Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir. G
    Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Two Dancers (Deux danseurs), 1937-38. Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, notebook papers, pencil, and thumbtacks. 31 9/16 x 25 3/8” (80.2 x 64.5 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Dation, 1991. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Panel with Mask (Le Panneau au masque), 1947. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 43 5/16 x
    Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Panel with Mask (Le Panneau au masque), 1947. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 43 5/16 x 20 7/8” (110 x 53 cm). Designmuseum Danmark. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Zulma, early 1950. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 93 11/16 x 52 3/8″ (238 x 133 cm). St
    Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954). Zulma, early 1950. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. 93 11/16 x 52 3/8″ (238 x 133 cm). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Hôtel Régina, Nice, 1953. Photo: Hélène Adant. Centre Pompidou – MnamCci – Bibliothèque Kandinsky
    Hôtel Régina, Nice, 1953. Photo: Hélène Adant. Centre Pompidou – MnamCci – Bibliothèque Kandinsky
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