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Magazine sculpture Reading Woman

Have you ever been in a situation where you open up a magazine for a minute, but lose yourself in it for a much longer time? This has happened to me plenty of times while creating a sculpture made of People magazine issues and representing a reading woman. Frozen in a movement, the Reading woman seems to be rushing somewhere, however, she can’t take her eyes off the topic that seems to be so interesting.

This is not the first project I made of magazines – a few years ago, I made the installation called Modern Lithuanian Girl, for which I used more than 5000 magazine scraps. This time, I wanted to find a different angle to represent the temporariness of the magazine and raise questions about the fate of paper magazines in modern society. Is the magazine only relevant until the new issue comes out? How long does it really live? Can a magazine remain relevant in a world that has been digitalized so brutally?

Creation of the magazine sculpture Reading woman

I used more than 300 magazines to create the Reading woman. The magazines were obtained from the editorial office, as these were the unsold leftovers. I am happy to work with materials that would otherwise be trashed – this way I can address the sustainability issues while simultaneously giving the “garbage” another life. It is important to me that the end result would have a message, but I also care about its aesthetics, I want it to be pleasing, to delight the viewer’s eye and be understandable. For this reason, I always put a lot of effort into the final look of the work, carefully matching colors and shapes, trying to see my own art from different angles and perspectives. I believe that only a subtle, eye-catching, and charming work of art from recycled materials can deliver its main message.

Difficulties in the making

The decision to twist the magazines into tubes came accidentally. While bending, wrinkling, and otherwise playing with the magazines for the future project, I decided that tubes will be perfect. However, the creative challenges did not end. Overall, I had to recreate the sculpture five times. At first, when using the full magazine issues for the tubes, I realized they were too heavy and had to undo everything. Then I started working with a couple pages at once. To make the sculpture sturdy, I made a metal frame for it, but this did not come out perfectly immediately, either. Finally, I needed a lot of time to sift through the pages and select those that had the best colors – when reading a magazine in normal circumstances, one might think there are plenty of colors and prints inside, however, once you start using it for art, you realize that most pages are white, thus making each colored page extremely valuable.

Even though I had some help – three other girls have agreed to help me make the tubes – the sculpture took a lot of time. The final height of the sculpture is 230 centimeters, while the construction weighs about 80 kilograms.