Sticky Stuff

Whether on or off the reel, sticky tape has long proved an endless source of creative inspiration. In his latest Obsessions piece, Neal Whittington shares his favourite examples of tape-inspired art and design.  

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Tammi Campbell

Sticky tape is one of the youngest stationery inventions nestled amongst your desk drawer (USB sticks definitely do not count). It originates from the US, invented around 85 years ago by 3M, the people most commonly associated with Post It notes. Richard Drew’s idea was born out of the Great Depression, at a time when people had less money and sought to fix things themselves, sticky tape allowed them to do this. A few years later it was used in the War to seal windows and minimise bomb damage. Nowadays it has more positive associations – how else would we seal wrapped gifts or get cat hair off our ponchos?

With its endless colours and perfectly uniform finish, it acts as a great medium for artists, both on and off the reel. Here is a round up of some of our favourites.

Omar Sosa is one of the founders of Apartamento magazine and in each issue he creates a series of still life shots made from singular materials or products. Ice, bricks, clay and pans have all had a look in. These tape stacks are a perfect display of the colours and patterns available to us all, Omar has turned ordinary reels into little celebratory sculptures.

www.omarsosa.net/works

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One of our favourite uses of tape in art comes from Kees Goudzwaard. He layers oil paint to create lovely tape-like abstract pieces, which draw parallels to a designer's cutting mat or studio wall, layered with ideas and remnants of them.

www.keesgoudzwaard.org

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Utilising similar techniques is Spencer Finch. He, however, creates figurative work using magic tape layered to form different levels of opacity… and clouds. If there is one thing we have learned it is that clouds made from tape can never be wrong.

www.spencerfinch.com

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Back to trompe l’oeil with the tape boxes made by Igor Eskinja. They might look simple but the boxes are created over two to three planes, completed by the eye from a particular vantage point.

www.flgallery.com/igor-eskinja-home.html

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Tape acts as a tool, medium & construction line in Tammi Campbell's Work in progress series. Patterns and pie charts are framed by thick masking tape, complimentary in its custard yellow to the grey paint she often uses.

www.campbelltammi.com

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Finally this tape installation by Martin Creed can be viewed forever at Hauser & Wirth in New York. The entire entrance has been adorned with all manner of tapes and patterns. f you decide to go down to Leyland and try it yourself at home, remember to stock up on sanity and patience first.

www.hauserwirth.com

www.martincreed.com

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See more of Neal's stationery-based goodness at www.presentandcorrect.com