Artists can turn anything into a creative medium: wood chips, old bikes, you name it. Louise Despont‘s substrate of choice? Delicate sheets of antique ledger paper that turn-of-the-century organizations like “The Standard Fire Insurance Co. of New Jersey” used to do their accounting.
Despont takes these mundane parchments and draws mysterious, faintly disturbing graphite designs onto them. The patterns sometimes look like architectural plans or portraits of deities, but more often have the look of something altogether more alien, filtered through the lens of an Art Deco aesthetic. But with Tax Day now safely behind us, we’re free to view Despont’s accounting-page specters in a slightly more optimistic light. One of them almost looks like a Buddha. Maybe that’s a good omen for doing your 1099s next year.