All 'Stuff' has a physical presence. No matter what the object someone or something will interact with it. These interactions endow the object with a history and fragments of narrative. The integration of found objects and ephemera into an artwork intrinsically embed those hidden stories as an extra layer of meaning beyond the artist’s intention. Perhaps that is why so many artists are attracted to found objects as material for their creative process.
Beyond the aesthetic and meaning of the whole, the constitute parts bring their own connotations. The original use and history can be woven into the artist’s narrative to provide added commentary on our material world. The most adept artists can exploit these inherent meanings by skillfully adding context. However they also have to except that objects are keys to memories and individual relevance. When a key can open many doors, you cannot control which one your viewer will enter - it is now their adventure.
John Taylor is a self-taught artist. He sculpts intricately detailed ships using scrap wood, computer parts, and other various discarded stuff. He creates the vessels to look like they’ve been excavated from the bottom of the ocean rather than making perfect replica models. The artist’s handing of materials and surface give an appearance of decay. They become artifacts temporarily stopped in time - a documentation of a disappearing history. The fleeting nature of industrialized ephemera created along the way of human development is also implicit in the artist’s chosen materials.
In addition to the found, often antique objects, Kevin Titzer and Morgan Brig incorporate their own hand-crafted elements giving each work a unique presence.
Both bring alchemy to their mixed media sculptures, creating characters that are more than the sum of their parts. Like Geppetto’s Pinocchio, they model the presence of a being from the inanimate.
Kevin Titzer is a sculptor of fantastical wood and metal figures with darkly comic undertones. We are charmed by these creatures with mad macabre smiles and apologetic faces, recognizing a true sense of humanity in their apparent ugliness. This kind of unique perspective brings to mind the works of Hieronymus Bosch, Henry Darger and Goyer, and seems as if it could be from any century.
Morgan Brig’s mixed-media sculptures explore the mysteries of life with a playful and contemplative tone. Drawing on human nature and her daily writings in her journal, she layers themes within the work through symbols, icons, and embedded text. “Rummaging around just under the surface is a favorite past time of mine. Interesting emotions live there which I love to dig up, take apart and reassemble.” The incorporation of found objects provides a sense of familiarity, but the viewer is asked to reconsider the elements within a new context. There is a playfulness inspired by the artist’s love of old metal and tin toys. She explains this as a “need to lay humor right next to truth or fear in my work.”