Contrary to what Margate Elephant may look like on the screen of your computer or phone, this piece by InLiquid Artist Joseph Opshinsky is not a print, nor is it a digital drawing. Every shape and element you see in this illustration—the bold colors, solid shading, and sharp lines—have been fashioned from different sheets of colored paper. Even looking at the piece up close, you can hardly tell what it’s made out of, as each paper layer has been cut with extreme precision and glued together seamlessly.
You’re probably wondering how Joseph does it. First, he begins his process with a highly detailed contour line drawing, mapping out the entire composition of the image. From there, he cuts each and every shape out of the colorful sheets of paper by hand, and then layers them together. It’s a slow and meticulous technique that Joseph, who is a very detail orientated artist, has mastered.
Now to address the elephant in the room: What’s cool about this piece by Joseph Opshinsky, is that it depicts a historical landmark. The illustration features Lucy the Elephant, which is a six-story novelty architecture that was designed and built by the inventor James Vincent de Paul Lafferty Jr. in 1881. Located in Margate, New Jersey, Lucy the Elephant has been home to restaurants and taverns before the Prohibition—that’s one big speakeasy! Today, Lucy the Elephant is a major American tourist attraction and continues to stand tall and proud of the New Jersey town of Margate.
If Joseph Opshinsky’s Margate Elephant has captured your heart, you can take it home with you. The piece is part of our 2017 InLiquid Benefit collection and is still for sale for a limited time. You can buy it now online here!