josh blackwell at the riverside art museum
josh blackwell at the riverside art museum josh blackwell at the riverside art museum
jul 14, 2011

josh blackwell at the riverside art museum

josh blackwell/roger white riverside art museum, california on now until september 22, 2011

‘blue stripe plastic basket’ by josh blackwell images courtesy of josh blackwell

the riverside art museum in california presents work by new york based artist josh blackwell, in an exhibition shared with roger white and curated by james bae. exploring the imaginative possibilities of detritus, this installation features the artist’s ‘plastic baskets’ series, in which plastic bags are salvaged, embroidered with yarn, and thus repurposed into artworks. a topic which blackwell has investigated since the mid-2000s, the conversion of these disposable items into art objects questions the nature of waste and necessity, as well as what differentiates low from high culture.

blackwell explains: ‘ostensibly useless, plastic bags are the second most common form of litter in the world after cigarette butts. I began collecting semi-degraded plastic bags from kitchen cupboards and city streets about six years ago. the bags are sewn shut with yarn, deliberately thwarting their function. the protean shapes suggest faces, animals, or clothing. their textured, worn, or melted surfaces wear the remains of physical activity like dirty laundry left on the floor. the bags attempt to redress their impoverished status with the addition of colorful embroidery in geometric patterns.’this presentation of blackwell’s work is particularly timely, given that on july 1, 2011, supervisors of los angeles banned plastic bags in unincorporated areas of the county due to their detrimental effects on the environment.

  • Interesting work! If you agree, please check out my embroidered plastic bags!

    [url=] Trashing Ideas by Deborah Eide [/url]

    In my work I use a finer thread and a concept that intertwines how besides disposing of plastic bags, we literally and emotionally dispose of fellow humans when we degrade them to second-class citizens or simply replaceable workers.

    Instead of expressing frustration, my embroidery meditates on how to rectify this problem through action and patience.

    Deborah Eide says:

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