Sunday, November 27, 2011


Waste, it seems like the buying and tossing out of “stuff” is just a normal attribute of our species, or at least it has been since the industrial revolution stuck a plug into the pie hole of a simpler life. We have become a world of consumers, a grouping of bar-code soldiers, with one hand on a store shelf and the other one aiming for the waste basket. Be it short attention span or the overwhelming advertising stimuli, we just can’t ram enough stuff into our lives. Yes, some of us do gleefully skip down to the local salvation army, seemingly playing our part by “donating” our pass me downs to the less fortunate, but do we really understand the total scope of the circle of waste we play a part in. Clothing has a comfy little place at the top of the purchase pile and on average; an American family will spend $2292 a year on clothing. To put that into perspective, an average cost of a new graphic tee from your local Big Box Fashion Store will run you around $10-$25 bucks, and jeans at $29-$69…with 311 million people in America alone, that’s a big ass pile of clothes. This is just the clothes that are sold, the trail doesn’t end there.

In a idealistic world, we would only buy quality goods from local designers and understand that in the end, it is our decisions that determine whether land fills start to pile into our back yards, or that hundreds of thousands of pounds of “end of season clothing” is either discarded or shipped to other countries, only to be piled up in their back yards.

To put a bit of a rainbow on this slew of negativity, some creative minds have taken this concept, and tried to bring awareness to these issues through sculpture. They have taken piles of discarded clothing, and displayed pieces of beauty. If not for anything else, they help to draw our attention away from the cookie cutter regularity of the individual items and to focus on a bigger picture, whatever that happens to be for each participant. Each of the artist show below (in order of appearance, Naoko Yoshimoto, Derick Melander, Jarod Charzewski, Tamara Kostianovsky, , Guerra de la Paz (Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz), have all found their way to use clothing as a medium to express there point of view.

Naoko Yoshimoto

Derick Melander

"Clothing has this natural connection to the people who wore it,” ..... “I’m making artwork that’s like a collective portrait... it’s a symbolic gesture where I’m compressing the space between people.”

items in his work are stacked so they are easily taken apart and reusable.

“I’m eco-conscious as a person,” ..... “It’s part of who I am and naturally ends up having a place in my artwork as well.”......“It’s important that people understand the magnitude of the issue .... It’s important for people to see it.”

Jarod Charzewski

Tamara Kostianovsky

"For the creation of these works I cannibalized my clothes: I used the various fabrics and textures to conjure flesh, bone gristle and slabs of fat in life-size sculptures of livestock carcasses. The material connects our bodies with the ones in the work, bringing violent acts into a familiar realm. My intention is to confront the viewers with the real and grotesque nature of violence, offering a context for reflecting about the vulnerability of our physical existences, brutality, poverty, consumption, and the voracious needs of the body."

Guerra de la Paz

(Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz)