Paper Madonnas
by Dan Paulos

Exhibited at the Marian Library: April 16-May 31, 1990

Papercutting in religious art goes back to the sixteenth century, and since then has never failed to inspire the more delicate features of the religious sentiment. It is to faith imagery what Plato's cave is to philosophy; its contours suggest depth, and its self-restrictive use of color is a constant reminder of the chiaroscuro of faith itself. Although line and space impose upon the artist an asceticism of the essential, the fine-tuned subtleties of this art form open up a whole new array of expressive sensitivity and detailed variety. In the hands of a master, papercutting may become the true poetry of the Spirit.

Paper Madonnas
Daniel Thomas Paulos is such a master. He was introduced to the cut paper or silhouette art form in grade school, and later studied the secrets of the art of papercutting under the famed Sister Mary Jean Dorcy. "It took him less than two years to accomplish what it took me thirty to do," concedes the proud teacher. Dan continued to improve his abilities, so much so that his art now appeals to an ever-widening audience of fans. His originals are hung, not only all over the United States and Canada, but also in England, Ireland, Chile, El Salvador, Uruguay, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. His work has been commented upon and reproduced in many newspapers and in national and international publications.

One day, Dan Paulos may well enter the history of religious art as Our Lady's papercutter in the twentieth century. He works almost exclusively with the images of the Blessed Virgin, Christ, and the Holy Family. His artistic rendering of Mary expresses not only delicacy and joy, but focuses also on Our Lady's strength of presence and her spiritual power. Dan's pen and scissors capture traditional motifs of Marian art, from the nativity to the Assumption. They also lend new flavor to classical images such as "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," "Lourdes," or "Our Lady of Guadalupe." Dan not only recreates, he also helps to shape new representations of Mary. He pictures "Our Lady of Medjugorje," and gives a stirringly personal touch to the "Madonna of the Slaughtered Jews," the "Towering Pillars of Freedom" and the "Apache Madonna."

Paper Madonnas
Thus, Paulos' Marian message is manifold; it speaks of the sweet strength of the mother and protector, the forceful compassion of the woman of the Magnificat, and the many-splendored presence of Christ's mother and companion, our sister in faith, throughout the history and tradition of Christianity. His are "Paper Madonnas" that will prod the conscience of the people who look at them, and prompt them "to go out and see what they can do to help raze bigotry, selfishness and fear." And this is how Dan Paulos understands his mission in life: "to create for the glory of God."


[Dan Paulos]
Dan Paulos

  1. The Sweetest Gift, A Mother's Smile

  2. Navajo Madonna

  3. Our Lady of Guadalupe

  4. Saint Joseph

  5. Heaven's Crystal Window

  6. Throne of God

  7. Fatima

  8. Spanish Cristo

  9. Pueblo Madonna

  10. Our Lady of New Mexico

  11. The Assumption

  12. Apache Madonna

  13. Our Lady of the Light

  14. O Towering Pillars of Freedom!

  15. Our Lady of Perpetual Help

  16. Carousel Madonna

  17. Pieta

  18. Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

  19. The Lighted Path

  20. The Chosen One

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