Dan Colen’s trash-to-treasure mixed media installations remind us of the potential of beauty in the discarded. In his exhibition, Blowin’ In the Wind, Colen repurposes the painting tools which he uses to create his Trash series. These objects are placed or hung in the gallery, absent of the painted canvases that resulted from their use. Painting tools include objects such as a flip-flop, a paint can, rags, string, bottles, a tire, a yellow mop bucket, a McDonald’s food bag, and an umbrella handle. In Out of the Blue and Into the Black, Colen tars and feathers an entire gallery wall with one small and bright painted canvas among this image of morbidity. Also part of this installation is a cluster of suspended beat-up and forgotten blue bicycles. Representing the more literal approach of trash-to-treasure are canvases onto which Colen has pasted painted trash or gum and gum wrappers. Colen’s background is in painting and a series of his oil paintings, entitled The Spirits That I Called, will be on view at Oko Gallery in New York from May 15 – June 15.
Recycling is a way of life in Cateura, Paraguay. Many people there earn money by scouring the huge landfill for items that can be recycled. A certain garbage picker, though, began recycling for much more than money: for the young people in his community. Nicolás Gómez began creating instruments – violins, cellos, drums, guitars – from the trash he sifted through and gave them to local children. The idea picked up steam and children’s orchestra known as “The Recycled Orchestra” came to life. Landfill Harmonic, a documentary on Gómez and the orchestra, is slated to capture the inspirational story. [via]
The installations of Carly Fisher may at first appear to be trash strewn galleries. However, closer inspection reveals that none of the items are actual garbage. Rather, Fisher carefully recreates litter from little more than paper and glue. The meticulous attention she gives to sculpting trash replicas, so to say, may seem odd. However, the familiar international name brands dotting the gallery floor raise the question: do these corporations possibly give the same meticulous attention to the branding of litter as Fischer? As one of her gallery statements puts it, “Perhaps there is a marketing edge to trash?”
But no, really, Matthew Yake’s series “237 Pieces of Trash Around the Bleachers” is anything but a trash collection. His photos are poignant, clear, and powerful. He’s got other equally awesome series including one of artists in their studios that holds it’s own against other interior powerhouse sites like “The Selby“.