These paintings are pure trash… but only on the surface. Beneath their rough exterior is a precisely carved basswood sculpture, and only the paint on the surface provides the exacting trompe l’oeil vision of reality. Artist Tom Pfannerstill creates his unusual sculpture/paintings based on discarded objects he finds on his daily travels. Calling his finds a ‘gift from the street’, they act as a record of his movements and a commentary on our commercial/consumer driven society.
Above: Gasoline, Acrylic and/or enamel on carved basswood, 37 x 33
“Each of these objects was at one time a near-perfect clone of millions of others of it’s type,” says Pfannerstill. “It was designed and manufactured to exacting standards. By the time I find it, it has become a tiny study of opposing forces. Mechanical geometric precision is altered by organic twists, bends and folds. The inherent rationality is overlaid with elements of chance. The sparkling clean surfaces are smudged and marked by everyday dirt, grit and grime. No two objects have exactly the same journey , so no two are marked in exactly the same way. Each wears a record of its own particular history, has become unique. It is this difference, this particular story of this particular object that I attempt to capture.”
In this way, Pfannerstill transforms something largely regarded as ugly, into something to be admired and appreciated for its uniqueness. Like artists who came before, he observes the small things which make our environment special – but from a distinctly modern, urban perspective.
via Faith is Torment
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