"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
From the series, "Exclusive"
Ellen Gallagher discusses the paper cutouts that she’s embedded into paintings throughout her career. Shown at the New Museum, seated in her solo exhibition Don't Axe Me (2013), she explains how she scrapped away areas of her thickly painted canvases and inlaid black paper birds, leaving their sharply cut edges distinctly visible. Gallagher traces her interest in cutting to when she first began working with penmanship paper and needed to release air bubbles trapped under its surface. Her fondness for cut paper is most evident in her Watery Ecstatic series (2001–2009), which depicts sea creatures on intricately incised paper.
CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Ian Forster. Camera: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher. Special Thanks: New Museum. Theme Music: Peter Foley.
Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.