of this artist's work.
Tailings tell stories of the city. These discarded objects are scarred, bent, broken and crushed. They represent cycles of life in the city. I work with found objects because they speak to me, not only of the history of their useful life, but of their potential for aesthetic function. I work intuitively, putting objects together in new combinations to enhance their expressive power. The art of living and the art of assemblage are both created by rescuing accidental moments.
My current work in assemblage consist of found object assemblages of wood, metal, glass, ceramic, plastic, paper fragments and paint. They take forms of wall hung and pedestal pieces, shrines, altars of all size and shapes, I usually work in a series which results in an installation or exhibition based on a specific theme.
Unlike many assemblagists, who pile material upon material, my works are the result of much editing. They also often have a humorous aspect in the juxtaposition of unlikely materials. Most of the time, it is a light rather than a heavy-handed approach toward commenting on American society. I aim to stimulate the viewer's perceptual awareness of the beauty and value in the ordinary and to encourage creative imagination regarding reuse of materials in the hope that they will discard less and recycle more.
I am an artist working in the studio and in the community. A child of the great depression, I was raised with values of recycling. Inspired by the examples of the early moderns, also Kurt Schwitters and Louise Nevelson, as well as the need to make art while limited in funds to purchase materials, I began making collages with trash and assemblages with found object materials while still in art school. It became a way of life and art.
Claudia Chapline was the Artist-in-Residence at Recology San Francisco from July 6 to October 16, 1999.