In his most recent series, paper artist Charles Clary, previously featured on Hi-Fructose, nods to the power of nostalgia by creating over 200 individual VHS slipcase sculptures. The series took over a year to complete and marks a turn towards the personal in Clary’s art. This series is a response to his parents’ deaths and a nostalgia for childhood: “The idea behind the more recent work using retro pop culture from my childhood is of order from chaos, beauty from destruction, and hope for more joyous times.”
By elaborating upon familiar pop-culture images such as Beetlejuice, Flash Gordon, and Ghost Busters, Clary adds another dimension of paper construction to the already fantastical slipcovers. The colors and patterns that he chooses to add are often complementary and add to the visual experience of the cover- for instance, the Silence of the Lambs cover is rendered even more eerie by virtue of florescent green additions over Jodie Foster’s eyes.
Ultimately, Clary channels his paper-working into an immersive experience, turning his VHS slipcase sculptures into an installation that mimics the layout of a video store. It uses this hallmark of the past to access an emotional space of vulnerability and youth. In this context, his intention to bring others into his world can be fully realized: “I use paper to create a world of fiction that challenges the viewer to suspend disbelief and venture into my fabricated reality.”