ReAppropriation

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

We have become a society of mass consumption. The EPA estimates that each American produces 1,130 pounds of waste per year. How many Americans are there?

That’s quite a bit of trash. So, along with our effort to be more conservative about what we use and pitch, and to recycle as much as we can, the reuse of materials can be a great way to reduce our footprint. Years ago, I had a fantasy about making playground sculptures, and equipment, out of used tires, as these nemeses to environmentalism are becoming a growing problem. With no way to get this idea to an effective audience, I abandoned the idea.

Enter Jason Regenes. He takes what would otherwise be heading for the landfill, consumer product packaging styrofoam, and transforms it into amazing sculptures. His work, often hung from the ceiling and illuminated, speaks to both earlier modern artist like Louis Nevelson and our current battles with finding uses for materials that do not decompose. One of the key reasons that these pieces work is their scale. A lesson I learned while getting my MFA was that almost anything interesting, multiplied to get a real volume, leads to an aesthetic, presence and meaning that are all amplified.

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