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Erika Simmons: Transforming cassette tape into art

Jimi hendrix Remember cassette tapes? Now, remember when your Walkman ate your favorite LL Cool J album, disembodying the string of tape from the plastic case, leaving you with one less thing to listen to and a pile of black waste? Fond memories.

Erika Simmons, an artist from St. Louis, has turned those nostalgic frustrations into beautiful homages to music legends. Intently ripping into her cassettes, Simmons, 25, molds the lump of tape into sculptures of rock stars.

In the year or so since she started the "Ghost in the Machine" project, she has made works in the shapes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, the Beatles and countless others. Her Michael Jackson artwork will be on display in a gallery at UCLA on Oct.  4 -- her first such show in the United States.

"The idea came from the idea of mind-body dualism and how your spirit lives in your body," Simmons said.

The photos of the sculptures on Flickr have drawn tens of thousands of hits each and international attention. Simmons charges between $800 and $4,000 for original cassette-tape artwork.

And she supplies her own cassettes. You can hang onto your bootleg REO Speedwagon tapes.

-- Mark Milian

Jimi Hendrix cassette tape art. Credit: Erika Simmons

Comments () | Archives (4)

Erika's a terrific, good-natured person. I'm really glad she's getting so much attention for her creations. Great stuff. I love that she uses the tapes from the musician she's portraying.


Is it possible to get in touch with Erika to commission artwork?


Check out her website at http://iri5.com to contact her.


Hi! Erika Simmons (aka iri5) here. Thanks so much for the great post! I really appreciate it! I'll be in LA on October 4th for REVO LA... all are welcome, we'd love to have you come say hi! As Mark said, I'll have Michael Jackson on display, plus a few bonus bits, never before seen. Take care! E : ) For more info : http://www.revola.org/


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