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Phil Padwe

Recycler, 1, 2021
Works on Paper
14" H x 20" W
I enjoy the marriage of apparent opposites and find the challenge of reconciling mutually exclusive ideas and modalities alluring. My recent work exemplifies this: NYC garbage cans, and the people who frequent them, faithfully rendered in silverpoint and gold. I love the idea of art as alchemy and using an Old Master techniques to literally turn garbage into gold. I also appreciate that these drawings share roots with 20th century found poetry and trash aesthetes like Rauschenberg and Picasso. On a personal level silverpoint garbage cans also speak to my adoption and the transformative power of focus. That something as commonplace and disposable as literal garbage can become meaningful, or even beautiful; through sheer will and focus; is a metaphor for my existence. I was conceived illegitimately and born in shame; but one person's trash is another's treasure. And serious art can be found wherever serious artists care to find it.
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