Complexity With Paper



Carl Kleiner is up there as one of my top creatives. His commercial work remains stylish despite the subject matter, and his more personal projects ooze seduction as well as showcasing a keen sense of experimentation. His gorgeous work Postures is a prime example of this. Languid tulips are propped up and contorted with wire structures. The proposition creates a beautiful tension that simultaneously evokes feelings of touch and entrapment.

Recently I found an old article on Kleiner regarding a series that he worked on for Google. I’d seen the finished images on his website previously, however these ‘out-takes’ were new to me.

The project saw Kleiner creating a series of abstract wallpapers from various pieces of coloured paper. The finals that were selected are bold with strong colour usage and defined geometric shapes. You can see them here. Where the selected and the rejected version (above) differ is in Kleiner’s signature elegance. Client briefs dictate certain approaches, and there’s no doubt that Kleiner delivered successfully for Google, however it seems such a shame that these other variations weren’t also snapped up. The images above use paper and light in the most extraordinary way, creating stunning abstractions that despite their flatness, hint to a sumptuous depth with soft shadowing. There’s a real complexity to these compositions - an execution that one doesn’t arrive at quickly. Their construction appears simple, and yet wrapping your head around the procedure behind them is difficult. The palette is also a lot softer than what was delivered to Google, with the contrast between the soft pastels and deep red, navy and charcoal works beautifully.

Carl Kleiner is a photography and image maker, but he’s also much more than that. His unique approach to art direction and visualisation means that his works evoke a deep sense of feeling as well.