Her process is quite lengthy, but it begins with crumpled pieces of paper, she then paints the paper & re-crumples. Then she paints the back & re-crumples and then the front with another color & some more re-crumpling. If that sounds easy, I'm sure it's not. She also studies fashion & design & dresses in museums & then creates 3D clothing using pattern pieces--but no sewing. I'm guessing glue?!
I first heard about her on a trip to Istanbul 7-8 years ago. Unfortunately we'd just missed an exhibition of her work there. But we lucked out recently because the Hillwood House & Museum in DC (home of Marjorie Merriweather Post) had an exhibition of her work, and even commissioned de Borchgrave to create a few pieces based on paintings in the house.
Hillwood House is not especially interesting to us otherwise, I do have to admit; probably why we've never been there. She was a collector (and I totally get that!), and it's fun to see how much she had & how it's displayed. But for a house re-modeled in the late 1950s (one of my favorite architectural/furnishings time periods) it's rather Victorian...LOTS of stuff. Carpets, bookcases, furniture, tables, little tables, paintings, gewgaws and lamps and candlesticks on tables and shelves full of stuff. Mostly Russian stuff--Faberge, dinnerware, snuff boxes, etc. etc. etc. Her husband was the ambassador in Moscow after the Revolution--the Russians had no regard for anything to do with the Romanov family (or anything from their palaces) and she bought loads of stuff and shipped it back home. Perhaps I'm not interested because I'm just jealous! I'd love to have loads of money & free shipping, but send me to India, Bolivia or West Africa, please!
However, the exhibit is called Prêt-à-Papier and is just wonderful. Highly recommended...it's there thru the end of December. If you go to the artist's home page, you can book a tour of her new studio, useful if you'll be in Brussels anytime soon!
Here's a painting of Countess Samoilova, and the paper dress created based on the painting. I was especially impressed with the lace...it looked very real unless you got too close. In fact all the paper clothing looked so real that I began thinking that all the fabrics in the house (draperies, bedspreads) were paper, too! And I had to keep reminding myself that the drapes draped beautifully because they were fabric--not paper!
Notice to the left that she also creates paper shoes! I'll show more of those later in another post. (I took loads of pictures--I love museums where they let you take photos as long as you don't use flash).