This past fall as Hurricane Sandy swept through NYC’s Chelsea art district, galleries were forced to contend with 6′ tall storm surges, which in many cases destroyed the interiors of their spaces. The days after the storm saw a literal carnage of gallery interiors, as art and frames were forced to be thrown out, and drywall hacked apart to prevent mold from growing and rendering the spaces uninhabitable. While most of these galleries recovered with new, fresh drywall put in place, what if perhaps there had been a more..artistic use for all of that recycled drywall ?
Ironically, for artist Scott Carter, repurposing gallery drywall is not just a way to be resourceful, it’s also his art form. That’s because this crafty Chicago sculptor is known for using drywall and wood cut directly from the walls of galleries which he’s showing in to form the base of his work. Meant to blur the lines between sculpture and installation, Carter’s artistic method includes developing digital renderings and prototypes, which he then uses to construct real world furniture and other sculptures.
At only 28 years old, Carter is already a savvy cultural arbiter, often using his experiences of living amongst mass produced materials, spaces, and objects that are inherent in contemporary architecture and design as his muses. Manifesting as full-scale installations and interactive objects, his designs are meant to be a new spin on contemporary discourse in art, design, architecture and sound. Intended to be both performative and sculptural, he often “reshapes the contemporary gallery space by literally excavating sections of the gallery drywall (or floor) and reconstructing a new sculpture or installation from those pieces.” Conceptualized to reveal the quirks and subtle idiosyncrasies that are inherent to domestic life, Carter literally turns the interior space upside down. In all, his works are meant to be “playful and creative critiques of the way we experience space and the items that inhabit them.”
Though we’re curious to see how Carte turns a raw space into a full scale “skeleton model” (the kind we’re using to seeing in Earth Science classes, or at the Natural History Museum to show 3D), the pragmatist in us wonders what will happen to a space after his work has left a gallery almost unrecognizable through his ravaging creative process?
Scott Carter currently lives and works in Chicago, where he received an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. Scott’s work was shown most recently at Beers.Lambert Gallery in London, where he will have another solo show in 2014.