SchoolArts Magazine

November 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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C hilean illustrator, artist, and graphic designer Angello García Bassi creates 3D paper toys that effortlessly combine fine art, craft, and design. Although his work fits in well with the phenom- enon of cutting-edge urban vinyl toy design, it also con- nects to the long history of paper in fine art and craft. Born in Caldera, Chile, Bassi graduated with a degree in graphic design from the University of Antofagasta, Chile. He cur- rently teaches in the School of Design at the University of Diego Portales, Santiago. He developed Cubotoy, his paper toy designs, while work- ing as a graphic designer. He sees Cubotoy as the twenty- first century version of origami, impacted by the evolution of Pop Art, graffiti art, fashion, and graphic novels. Bassi creates the models and prototypes for his toys in his studio. The process includes designing, drawing, and sculpting an original that is then replicated in materi- als that are manufactured in Chile. His 2012 exhibition, Cubotoy a World of Paper (Cubotoy un Mundo de Papel) garnered him international attention. In 2014, Bassi was included in a groundbreaking exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. The exhibit, New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America (November 2014–April 2015), explored the important role Latin American artists have played in the last few decades in the combination of fine and functional art. His most recent work includes a series of cast paper toys produced in limited quantities. The use of paper in the creation of 3D personal objects has been a staple of miscellaneous arts in many coun- tries around the world. Paper was introduced to the West from China via the Middle East during the 1400s, and has been used to make inexpensive toys, religious devotional objects, and decorations. Today the use of paper in art runs the gamut from room-sized installations of cut-and-pasted 3D forms, to cut, folded and pasted toys. The word "craft," applied to works of art that combine fine art with functional design, had almost gone the way of the dinosaur during the twentieth century when schools such as the Bauhaus in Germany (1919–1933) established the precedent of offering a curriculum that combined tra- ditional functional arts with fine art disciplines such as painting and sculpture. In the twenty-first century, there has been a resurgence in the interest of craft as art with exhibitions in prominent museums. It has also found a place within the burgeoning field of cut, folded, and taped or pasted artworks known as papercraft. The stylistic des- ignation "papercraft" covers a wide range of 3D objects. The art form differs from Japanese folded origami, because Paper To esign as Fine Art the works are cut from exacting models and taped or pasted together. Designing papercraft figures requires a sound knowledge of math and design, and the use of tools such as X-Acto knives, tweezers, and tape or glue. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 23 L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G ANGELLO GARCÍA BASSI G R A P H I C D E S I G N E R Angello García Bassi, designer and academic at the University of Diego Portales, Santiago.

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