Saturday, August 6, 2011

best use of plastic bags

Josh Blackwell rethinks painting, plastic and debris at the Riverside Art Museum, California courtesy of designboom:

'blue stripe plastic basket' by josh blackwell
images courtesy of josh blackwell

the riverside art museum
in california presents work by new york based artist josh blackwell, in an exhibition shared with roger white
and curated by james bae. exploring the imaginative possibilities of detritus, this installation features the artist's 'plastic baskets' series,
in which plastic bags are salvaged, embroidered with yarn, and thus repurposed into artworks. a topic which blackwell has investigated
since the mid-2000s, the conversion of these disposable items into art objects questions the nature of waste and necessity, as well as
what differentiates low from high culture.

blackwell explains:

'ostensibly useless, plastic bags are the second most common form of litter in the world after cigarette butts.
I began collecting
semi-degraded plastic bags from kitchen cupboards and city streets about six years ago. the bags are sewn shut with yarn, deliberately
thwarting their function.
the protean shapes suggest faces, animals, or clothing. their textured, worn, or melted surfaces wear the remains
of physical activity like dirty laundry left on the floor. the bags attempt to redress their impoverished status with the addition of colorful
embroidery in geometric patterns.'

this presentation of blackwell's work is particularly timely, given that on july 1, 2011, supervisors of los angeles banned plastic bags

in unincorporated areas of the county due to their detrimental effects on the environment.

thank you designboom! Love this work.

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