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Nikki Rosato’s Cut-Out Map Portraits

Artist Nikki Rosato, whose work we discovered thanks to Colossal, creates portraits out of an unlikely material — discarded street maps. The end result is particularly stunning when she uses wire to transform the intricately cut pieces into 3D busts. “Our physical bodies are beautiful structures full of detail, and they hold the stories that haunt and mold our lives,” Rosato explains in her artist’s statement. “The lines on a road map are beautifully similar to the lines that cover the surface of the human body. In my most recent work involving maps, as I remove the landmasses from the silhouetted individuals I am further removing the figure’s identity, and what remains is a delicate skin-like structure. Through this process, specific individuals become ambiguous and hauntingly ghost-like, similar to the memories they represent.” Click through to check out the series.


Nikki Rosato, Two Bostons, 2009. 16″ x 16″ x 14″. Cut map, armature wire

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