Cutting Loose: Crafty Paper Silhouettes Animate Architectural Landmarks

The built environment becomes the backdrop from all kinds of imaginative (if improbable) scenes when this London photographer adds a single layer to each of his images: a black piece of cut paper.

Rich McCor, also known as “paperboyo,” transforms landmark architecture and urban design elements, sometimes turning them into other structures (like roller coasters) or something else entirely (the fire under a rocket ship).

These interventions often transform the scale of their subjects, reducing them for human use as, say, a stand for a telescope or a prop for a gymnast.

In each frame, the hand also adds another dimension, for a net effect of three different scales — the background, cutout and photographer.

More broadly, these images suggest work our own imagination can do while traveling — patterns that can be revealed by squinting our eyes and thinking just a bit outside the box about familiar structures.

Fans can follow McCor’s adventures in Around the World in Cut-Outs.