At first glance, Li Hongbo’s sculptures look very familiar: life-sized busts of figures like Michelangelo’s David, Zeus, Beethoven, Greco-Roman soldiers—even common objects like human ears, noses, and mouths.
They look like marble sculptures until they’re handled and you realize Hongbo’s art is made up thousands of sheets of paper. The busts, for example, are made up to 8,000 sheets of paper, carefully glued together in an honeycomb-like fashion, then carved with band saws, angle grinders, and sand paper.
The 39-year-old Beijing artist just kicked off his first American exhibit at the Klein Sun Gallery in New York (which ends March 2, 2014) and as of last week, 31 of his 35 pieces have sold, prices ranging from $10,000 to $48,000.
The images below are just a small sampling of Hongbo’s work—the Klein Sun Gallery has many more images as does ArrestedMotion which took a trip to the exhibit.