F0r 30-year-old artist Christopher Coppers, magazines have always piqued his interest. “Since I was a kid, I was always looking for all the magazines in the house, but I wasn’t sure why I was keeping them,” he told the Cut. “But I knew that something in them was really astonishing. They represent society, in a way.” This innocent, curious interest blossomed into a greater thirst to pursue art in his teens, and eventually led to his decision to study graphic design in college. During Coppers’s first year in the program, his youthful adoration for glossies swirled together perfectly with his graphic eye — and he wielded an X-Acto knife to slice deep into the cover of a magazine. “Then the magic came, it arrived,” he succinctly explained. It was as if he wanted to uncover the mysteries contained within the pages, which had captivated him in his youth. He promptly left his studies to pursue the art of cutting into magazines.
Since his first experimentation twelve years ago, Coppers has worked with an estimated 3,000 publications — including fashion bibles Vogue, Elle, W, i-D, and Harper’s Bazaar — using a trusty X-Acto blade to master various techniques, from what he calls “explosions” (which literally look like a bomb detonated on the magazine) to delicate, nature-inspired carvings on a cover girl’s hair or body. His way of looking at his work? A labor of love. “I have a passion for photography and for that medium that is magazines, and I just wanted to do something with it,” he told the Cut. “I’m giving them a second life.” Click through the slideshow for a look at some of the magazine-based work he’s created, which runs the gamut from jarring to delicate. Coppers is currently working on a new exhibit (involving shredded magazines), entitled “Mobile Me.”