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Jad Fair | Paper Cutting Artist

Jad Fair, 56, is a prolific artist and musician of the lo-fi alternative/punk genre. He has released over 50 albums, 15 books and is featured in two films: “The Devil And Daniel Johnston” and “The Band That Would Be King.”

Jad has always had a passion for art. “It’s always been there” he says. He started drawing when he was only three years old. His artistic training includes some art classes, but “not enough to hurt me” he says.

Jad works out of his home in Manor, Texas but first started making paper cuttings 20 years ago while doing a lot of road travel. He wanted something to do on the long trips but his hand wasn’t steady enough to draw while traveling in a car. He eventually discovered a tool he could use with ease while traveling the road: scissors. “I really enjoy cutting paper. It’s such a different process than drawing. I draw right-handed, but I cut with scissors left-handed and the paper is often held upside down. It’s a nice change. I cut very quickly. I’m sure there is a thought process, but it’s fluid enough that I’m not aware of one. I’ve never felt any need for inspiration. It’s all very natural. It just happens.”

True to his nature, the home he shares with wife Patty is unconventional. The perfectly round home is alive with art and a variety of quirky and graphic items including a collection of toy robots. On collecting, “I want to get more, but we’re running out of wall space” says Fair. His take on affordable art: “I want my books and prints to be affordable, but I want to get as much as I feel I’m able to from the original cuttings.”

He is inspired by the Beatles, coffee, sunshine, and loves Mexican food, the band NRBQ and author Paul Rhymer who is regarded by many as one of the great humorists of the 20th Century. He is a huge fan of Paul Rhymer’s American radio comedy show Vic and Sade and listens to it almost daily. The show was originally broadcast in the 1930s and 40s to an audience of 7 million.

Some of the artists that Jad admires most include Gary Panter, Nikki McClure known for her paper cuts, and his brother David with whom he has collaborated on numerous projects.

Jad has exhibited in NYC, San Francisco, Tokyo, Melbourne, Hamburg, Austin, Aukland, Orlando, Waxahachie, Indianapolis, Houston, Lincoln, Paris, Bordeaux and Baltimore. He is currently working on cover art for four albums, preparing for two exhibitions, finishing a book, and working on a magazine cover. Recently, he was informed that he is to be shown at
the Grand Rapids Museum of Art during ArtPrize and is doing a huge cutting for it.

I enjoy Jad’s incredibly inventive compositions and the humorous, sometimes dark, quality of his subjects. The black paper cuttings have a great graphic pop. I think buying Jad’s limited edition prints on will be a smart addition to your collection. Jad’s personal motto, which he clearly lives by, is to “stay positive and do as much as you can”.

written by Colleen Cassady, Guest Curator

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