The Cardboard Artist

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 11.29.24 AM Words: Alex Khatchadourian

On the corner of Hill and 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles sits an empty lot. Besides the remnants of random tags and crackling paint on the wood boards that enclose the dilapidated space, there's nothing too memorable about it. That is, until you look up.

From behind the close to six-foot wood wall, two elongated giraffe necks used to stand sprouted up peering out to the thousands of LA inhabitants that pass by on 5th Street each day. Undoubtedly out of place, but positively adding color and life to the otherwise urban core, the two giraffes were the work of street artist Calder Greenwood, the artist who uses Downtown Los Angeles as his personal set, decorating certain corners and intersections with his cardboard and paper mache installations, often with co-conspirator Wild Life.

Calder uses his art to engage people in real world locations during their everyday lives, and producers Matthew Kaundart and Luka Fisher have created an engagingly personal depiction of Calder's work that reveals how his art encourages people to pause and recognize that the routines of everyday and surrounding world can change and be changed.

Initially conceived as part of 72andSunny’s creative residency 72U. This short documentary has since evolved into a prototype film for “The Rolodex”, a short film series dedicated to exploring Los Angeles’s underground community of artists, educators, and nontraditional thinkers. Calder offers a deeper understanding about the meaning of his cardboard creation's short life-span and his personal connection to impermanence. Fisher and Kaundart, who also directed and edited the short documentary, do an incredible job of allowing the film to reveal how Calder finds beauty in realizing some things must come to an end.

Watch The Cardboard Artist below.