Transforming ordinary objects into incredible works of art

Jan 27, 2011

I love it when artists take something that is familiar and create a new experience for the viewer.  Take these beautiful woven pieces made by Canadian artist Brian Jungen.  Can you believe they were made from professional sports jerseys?

At first glance, Jungen's sculptural works look like a contemporary homage to Native American art.  But when you realize his art is fashioned from found objects, particularly sports paraphernalia, the meaning of his work becomes even that much more profound.  

In the photos above, one can clearly recognize totem poles and an indigenous mask, items that hold sacred significance in the Native American culture.  When you look closely though, you can see that Jungen uses golf bags to form the totems and Nike Air Jordans to create the mask.  It's a brilliant statement of today's professional sports culture and how it's become a ritualistic, almost spiritual tradition for the masses.

Baseball mitts were used to create this warrior-like gear, and on the right is an antler sculpture made from leather shoes. 

Jungen works with a variety of materials, including metal, fabric, wood, and plastic.  Here are two works of art created from plastic objects.  The igloo shaped piece is made from trash bins and the whale skeleton from plastic lawn chairs.  Amazing!

[images courtesy of the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, and Catriona Jeffries Gallery]

To listen to Jungen talk about some of these works, go here.


annekata said...

Another one of your great sharings. Jungen says that "one of the best ways to get people to look at artwork is to create it out of materials that they recognize." Indeed.
The skeleton made from lawn chairs is breathtaking and so are his woven garments.
What an incredible artist.

vivienne said...

thank you for sharing this!
i saw brian jungen's work at the Vancouver Art Gallery years ago but a lot of the work you are sharing here is new and things i hadn't seen!

when his show was at the gallery i made sure i went to hear him speak about his work. it was incredible to get his perspective of why he creates what he does.

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