Ray Charles in Post-It Notes

David Alvarez, 19, of Leavenworth, Washington used more than 2,000 Post-it Notes to create a 10-foot image of Ray Charles. Alvarez, and art student at Washington's Wenatchee Valley College, says the idea came to him while playing with a mosaic effect in Photoshop. The finished piece took three months. From CNN:
 Images 2007-08 Ray-Charles-Post-It-Dave-Alvarez"It's something so simple. You can still see the flaps sticking out on some of them," he said. "Naturally the Post-it Note just sort of flaps out..."

Originally, the Post-it Notes stayed in this unique format only by virtue of their manufactured stickiness, which does not hold up as well as glue, Alvarez found. When he displayed his work at (an area art) show, he monitored the project for 14 hours, continuously replacing notes that were falling off.

The aspiring art teacher now uses glue to hold the notes in place.
Link (via Neatorama)

Previously on BB:
• Jaguar covered in stickie notes Link


  1. so he got the idea from photoshop, not the tons of other people who’ve done the exact samething with postit notes already?

  2. Excellent! I love art that makes witty use of pre-existing materials!

    Does the fluttering of the notes give it any sense of animation? I’d love to see a video of this.

  3. Some of my students did this a few years ago with – of all people – me! You can see what they did here. I think theirs is a little bit bigger.

  4. Actually, it would be interesting to see a time-lapse photography video of the artwork slowly destroying itself when the adhesive power of each individual note fails…

  5. I really like how random this idea seems – why Ray Charles? Why sticky notes? The apparent utter lack of connection appeals to me for some reason.

    Next up, Rick Moranis’ head shaved into the fur of a poodle! Neil Armstrong as a silly putty sculpture! A new bouillabaisse flavor that captures the true essence of Steve Jobs!

  6. Is this really art?

    And 3 *MONTHS*?

    Image of Ray Charles. Reduce it to 6 colors (or however many), and reduce the resolution to 52×40. Print the image out enlarged, number the rows, and not only would you get it done in a weekend, you’d be able to use contact cement from the beginning instead of spending 14 hours replacing Post-It notes. (Who’d imagine that an adhesive designed to not be permanent.. would not be permanent?)

    … but I guess that’s an engineer’s approach. If this IS art, does the fact that it took him so long through trial and error (i imagine) staring at a photo of Ray Charles make it more “art” than my method?

  7. David Alvarez is clearly no artist. An artist would recognise the limitations of the medium and accept them. Glueing Post-It Notes on with contact glue is pointless. Allowing the Post-It Notes to fall like leaves, as Nature and 3M intended, is art.

    I pity his students. They will only learn decorating, not art.

  8. The whole something made out of something else thing is just lost on me. The first time I saw it, it might have been neat but now it is just boring.

  9. BOOOO! I’m pissed that boingboing even posted this considering it’s been done a million times before in much cooler iterations. David, you little shit, having this posted may be the worst thing that could have happened to you because now everyone will see you for the liar that you are.

  10. I think you’re missing the point. This isn’t about Post-it Notes.


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