Collect, Gather and Assemble

From the curation of art objects in museums, to the obsessive need to collect every object in a series, to the accumulation of junk in that one particular drawer of a kitchen, I am at once captivated and curious of their origins. I find myself drawn to what these groups of things say about the person or people who have amassed them; both knowingly and unknowingly. The objects within these collections whether, deemed precious because of their cultural value or the personal sentiment attached to them, are parts of what construct our humanity. They paint a picture of individuals and their habits as well as how cultures value and view the past. 

 

This work reflects on my own experiences as someone who collects all sorts of things and my observations of the collections of those close to me. From seemingly random things for art projects, to cabinets filled with handmade dishes, to book shelves packed with unread books, my collections are part of my identity as are those of the people whom I hold near. To someone from the outside, these accumulations of objects may seem more like the junk drawer than the museum but to the individual who has gathered them together they are the quintessential museum of the self.

 

The three bodies of work, Bric-a-brac , Boom Boxes, and Assemblages #1-7,  each explore different aspects of collections and the objects which inhabit them. The pieces within each body of work are meant to be familiar. These objects whether softened by my touch or obscured by slip are removed from their origins and exist as shadows of themselves, thus generalizing and making them more relatable to a common cultural vocabulary. The use of saturated colors, patterns, and tactile surfaces are meant to draw the viewer in and to stimulate a emotional response to the work.

 © 2020 Dennis Ritter

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