Artist Creates Unique Portraits From Old Maps

nikki rosato cut map portraits image

"Danny: Mt. Pleasant, MI," 2009 (L) and "Two Bostons," 2009 (R). Photos: Nikki Rosato.

Roads are often referred to as "arteries," but Massachusetts-based artist Nikki Rosato's recent work brings the comparison to life like never before: Cutting away at old maps until only the roads and rivers remain, she creates compelling 2-D and 3-D portraits of real-life people from maps of places they care about or identify with.The increasing popularity of GPS systems, Google Maps, and other digital tools has left plenty of material for her to work with, the artist told Wired UK, explaining that she finds maps in places such as old bookstores and on eBay.

"Our physical bodies are beautiful structures full of detail, and they hold the stories that haunt and mold our lives. The lines on a road map are beautifully similar to the lines that cover the surface of the human body," Rosato says in a statement on her website.

Custom Portraits On Etsy
Though her initial work derived from her own image and those of her friends, the artist also makes custom portraits for sale on Etsy -- just send in a picture of yourself and "what location you would like to be represented as."

Lack Rosato's artistic talent or steady hand with a utility knife? The latest issue of Sierra magazine has step-by-step instructions (with photos) for weaving a sturdy basket out of old maps.

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