Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

This body of images, titled "Plastic", includes objects of incredibly small monetary value. This can be many things like molded plastic packaging, empty bottles, or cheap children's toys. The link between the objects is their disposability and that each possesses great aesthetic value. These are objects with so little value that they are nearly trash from the moment of creation and likely become trash very quickly after a brief period of use. Yet, these are objects with great visual and sculptural value. They possess a form, shape, and level detail that belies their status in the world.

I am inspired by these objects; I am inspired to love them as overlooked treasures, as exciting oddities, and inspired by the contradiction of these things as waste, object of commodity fetish, and flawed trope of our history and prejudice. This plastic stuff is at once a triumph of industry and a scourge of the environment.

At times the plastic forms may be beautiful because of their intended shape as with the smooth rounded forms of molded plastic packing, but in other cases it is the flaws of poor production that make a toy car or faceless action figure unique and interesting. The camera lets you see the world as something new and different, it is an observational tool to record not what is seen but what you could seen if you looked closer. As such, I isolate my subjects from any relevant context and use lighting and staging to enhance their status as an art object.

Sites:  /  Instagram: @erik_patten  /

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All work by Erik