Artist Turns Cardboard Into Fish

Cardboard art at library. Photo by Mark Webb-Barragan

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A Kodiak local will display his cardboard-based art for First Friday this month.


Cardboard is Mark Webb-Barragan’s primary medium, and he incorporates paints, pen, and other materials. Among his pieces are cut-outs of salmon, pollock, and halibut.

Webb-Barragan uses pen to further define the fish he creates. He says he read a lot of comics as a kid, and he tries to emulate that comic-book style.

And, like most artists, Webb-Barragan tried to think outside the box.

But his inspiration started from inside the box.

“As a kid, you get a refrigeration box, and the world’s your oyster at that point. It can be a space ship, it can be a tank, it can be a car, and I think that’s kind of what grounded that idea in my subconscious.”

Webb-Barragan says he took sculpture classes in college, and it’s something that helped him through the year.

Cardboard may be one of the less common sculpture materials. It’s not classic like marble or wood.

Webb-Barragan says while it’s readily available, people don’t generally think of it as beautiful.

“So, you’ve got something that’s typically thrown away. You don’t think about it. You can recycle it, but you can also upcycle it like I’ve done with my artwork just to show that there can be beauty in forms that typically you don’t think about as an art medium.”

He connects the vulnerability of cardboard with the marine life he chooses to depict.

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