Preview: Paperwork NYC’s “Borrowed Time” Fearlessly Faces The Uncertainty of Life

This past year, more than any in recent history, has forced us to confront a simple, yet admittedly hard to swallow, truth: life is uncertain. Whether we witness this in the form of NASA discovering new and potentially habitable planets or thousands of men, women, and children across the country taking to the streets to fight for their rights in a historic show of solidarity, both the mystifying beauty and paralyzing weight of our existence can be traced back to its utter unpredictability.

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There is no rulebook, no recipe for success, no fixed outcomes, no guarantees: we remain at the mercy of the unexpected, of life’s often volatile mood swings. Try as we might to control the things around us, our lives are intrinsically governed by the laws of uncertainty, and there is a strange comfort in acknowledging that. The acceptance of our unpredictable mortality is a splash of cold water to the face, a wake up call to look beyond the initial pinprick of fear, reminding us that life is uncertain, nothing is guaranteed, and no moment should be wasted.

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“Borrowed Time,” the latest exhibit from legendary New York publication company Paperwork NYC,  fearlessly faces the volatility of our existence head on, exploring it from the diverse creative perspectives of four renowned artists and photographers: Brad Phillips, Erik Brunetti, Heron Preston, and Nate Walton.

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The week-long exhibit, curated by Paperwork NYC founder Michael Krim and on display at 3125c The Void in DTLA in conjunction with the L.A. Art Book Fair this weekend, utilizes the intimate lens of creativity to examine the inevitable and the uncertain. Each of the four artists featured acknowledge the unsettling unpredictability of life in a unique and personal way, through different mediums and varying levels of abstraction, yet all stare unflinchingly down the throat of this truth, reminding us that both pain and beauty are results of life’s uncertainty.


Each artist examines a facet of the theme from a fresh and unusual angle, tapping into a deep feeling of connectedness. While their mediums are vastly different, their messages are the same: this uncertainty is something that we all feel, tiptoeing around the back of our subconscious when we can’t fall asleep at night. Exploring the volatile nature of our existence is to acknowledge that we don’t have all (or any) of the answers, and it is the role of the artist to make sense of the senseless, to find meaning in the madness, to pull us irreverently out of the ephemeral lull of everyday life and force us to remember that life is strange and wildly unpredictable, that each moment that arrives deserves to be embraced fully.

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Hosted by ANP Quarterly Magazine, a creative platform of RVCA’s Artist Network Program, the show’s opening reception takes place at the celebrated 3125c Gallery on Saturday, February 25th from 7-10 PM. Don’t miss it!


Paperwork NYC will also be hosting a pop-up this weekend featuring a variety of LA and New York creatives such as Pleasures, Ignored Prayers, Clot, Julia FoxNiki Takesh, Secret Society babe Natalie Krim, and many others. The pop-up will be serving up fresh zines, clothing, and other unique items, all weekend long.

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“We are not in bodies, we are in rental vehicles. Some are Korean, some are American, some are Jordanian, but when our time in these vehicles ends, when they are blown up, torn apart, recalled and set on fire, we move into new rental vehicles, and with those vehicles we can move to new places; Poland, Saudi Arabia, Japan. But we are only ever renting these vehicles that carry our gruesome organs around.” – Brad Phillips

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