Matt Shlian likes to look at the world from a different perspective. Where most people see an ordinary, functional object, Shlian looks at the detail; He is curious about what sets them apart. While some see paper as just another material, he sees it as a basis for what can become an extraordinary piece of art. Shlian’s fascination has led him to create remarkable artworks from folded paper. Over the years, he has created a stunning range of paper artworks and is still finding new and interesting ways to use it. He finds inspiration in just about everything from Islamic tile patterning to biomimetics.
The process which Shlian follows is a very organic one. He begins with a system of folding the paper and at a certain moment, the material takes over. As a result, he is not able to visualise the final product, but it’s the material that leads the process, making the designer curious to learn more about what it can do.
Through dramatic textures and vibrant colours, Shlian transforms this seemingly ordinary material into something hardly recognisable. These exceptional pieces can keep the viewer engaged for an extended time, as both the detail and the art piece as a whole offer something new and unusual. Therefore, these artworks are the ideal focal point for clean modern spaces.
Although they have a certain element of perfection thanks to the repetition in his artwork, Shlian welcomes mistakes during the creation process; It often leads to something new and interesting that he can later explore in more detail.
The meaning behind the designs is very much open for interpretation. There are no real answers to what kind of message the pieces want to convey. As a result, it is often difficult to characterise Shlian’s works or to explain their uniqueness; It is completely open for the viewer to decide.