In a series entitled ‘Ghost in the Machine’, iRI5, otherwise known as Erika Simmons, has attracted a lot of attention for her amazing skill with a pair of scissors, a cassette tape and some glue. From Georgia in the US, iRI5 never took any formal art classes and has always enjoyed messing around with materials to see the outcome, stating that she ‘makes art with passion, not just for money‘.
Her cassette illustration story is an interesting one.
‘I was waiting tables at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando when I thought of using cassettes as a way to make portraits. I guess all the music memorabilia was a good influence! The idea to use the cassettes came after I had set a few cassettes on top of a blank canvas near my door. Out of laziness I left them there and I would glance at the pile everyday as I came and went. Then one day I thought to use the cassettes on the canvas‘.
Erika describes her work process:
For my first portraits I would spend hours carefully gluing the cassette tape down, curling it and folding it into the shapes I desired, cutting as little as possible. I would twist the tape in places to give the illusion of a thinner line. I wanted it to look like the tape had sprung from the case mostly intact, revealing the “ghost in the machine.”
ⓒ Erika Simmons, 2009
Currently iRI5 is working on several commissions and is hoping to get her work into several US cities as well as abroad by the end of the year. ‘I’m just getting started‘.
MoonApe wishes iRI5 all the best!
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