It’s not enough that young Erika Iris graduated from university with a degree in Russian, or that she went to makeup school and discovered that fashion makeup wasn’t nearly as fun as turning pretty faces into zombies. There is art in those young hands, and using found objects—old books, sheet music, discarded cassette tapes, thrift store finds—and supplies picked up from the local Walgreens, Iris (who autographs her work with “ √-IRI5”) creates masterful, innovative pieces that are attracting a lot of attention, including a window display for Hermes Paris. Her Flickr albums alone show viewing numbers that would make most creatives salivate—nearly 433,000 views and counting.
Using an X-Acto knife, Iris intricately slices apart sheet music and reconfigures the notes and bars into Beethoven. An angel, horn in hand, seems to fly out of Mozart’s Serenade No. 10. A print of Monet’s “Woman with an Umbrella” is cut apart and rearranged into Monet’s face, “a ‘self-portrait’ of him using his own brushstrokes.” Salvador Dali gets similar treatment with components from prints of his own work. And the guts from cassette tapes are extruded and sculpted into music icons, from Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain to John Lennon. Old 8 mm film is unspooled into Marilyn Monroe’s famous “White Dress.” Iris’s website includes more examples of her work in the Gallery, as well as prints and originals for sale.
[quote] I think creating these optical illusions every day made me curious about how our minds perceive shadows, and how we put together the image of the world around us.”[/quote]