The Daily Mail called him a “jean-ius,” he calls himself Denimu, but his birth certificate says Ian Berry. The 28-year-old Sweden-based British artist creates fascinating pictures of urban landscapes using only denim by cutting it into precise shapes and then painstakingly stitches and pastes each of his impressive works together.
Unlike painters who can blend and bleed colours into one another with a simple brushstroke, Denimu has the more complex and laborious task of cutting out each hue to correspond to the varying tones in any given subject. He started making the denim-art pieces full-time after he lost his job as an art director. He recently returned from an art exhibition in Miami, Florida where his work fetched an impressive £4,500 a piece.
It all began when, in 2006, he was cleaning out his room after returning home from university and found a pile of old jeans. To achieve different looks, he sometimes uses bleach, either with a stencil and spray, and experiments with different shades of denim.
Finding the denim is also a bit of a task. As a true ‘denimhunter’, Denimu snoops around charity shops to find old jeans and friends and family also donate theirs to him. In fact, he even has a supply from a warehouse in Sweden. But even though he has a neat system with parts from thousands of jeans piled neatly up, he sometimes spends up to half a day to find the right piece of denim. He has now made around 80 pictures in total, but as they get bigger and as he spends more and more time on each one, “there will probably be less and less made each year,” says the jean-ius.