Reinventing Paper: Interview with Nick Georgiou Part I

Juxtapoz // Sunday, 20 Dec 2009
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Helen Soteriou: Who is Nick Georgiou?

Nick Georgiou: He is blades to papers, eyes to cameras, and fingers to glowing screens.

When did you start producing artwork made out of paper and why?
During the beginning of this decade –like most people, I saw my entire music and film collection shrink into my computer. I started getting my news online and began interacting with paper in a very different way.

Books and newspapers are becoming artifacts of the 21st century. Whatever we used to read off paper, we’re now reading off digital screens. Our way of interacting with text is changing. My work is not only about the decline of the printed word in today’s society but its rebirth as art.

I just saw an ad for Amazon’s digital reader, the Kindle, which reminded me of the earlier ipod ads. Instead of "a 1000 songs in your pocket" its “books in 60 seconds.”

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Where do you get all your newspapers and books from?

I'm from New York so just walking down the street one can find boxes of discarded books and newspapers waiting for the garbage collectors...or you.

Do people turn up at your doorstep with piles of paper?

No, fortunately they call first. A few weeks ago I met someone who had been saving her Financial Times for the last 3 months. It was great; I'm a sucker for that Salmon color! I’ve also been lucky to have a few used bookstores sponsor me and give me their throw away stock.
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How long does it take to create each piece...for example how long did it take to create one of your creatures?
It depends. The creatures are different from my other works because they're animated in terms of their expressions and movements. That's not an easy effect to capture because it's primarily an intuitive process rather than a technical one. Also, I work on multiple pieces simultaneously, so it can take anywhere from a few hours to several months.

Tell me about the work you made out of the last edition of Tucson’s oldest newspaper and the idea you have in mind for the printed version of Juxtapoz?
With art imitating life, or in this case death, the final copies of Tucson Citizen were scattered widely and are spread among a few pieces: a skull, a creature, and a portrait. If I’m ever given the cover of Juxtapoz, I’m planning to create a wide-eyed, zombie-like portrait to illustrate our collective obsession with the immediacy of media and our addiction to the 24-hour news cycle.


Part II of this interview with Nick Georgiou is online HERE.

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