Walking through cities collecting discarded materials is the fundamental process behind my work. I glean pigment from the urban landscape in search of color and texture—artifacts rich in time, history and experience. The resulting accumulation of post-consumer packaging records myriad human activities—a telling mix of pleasures, habits and addictions, including my own obsessive scavenging and appropriating.
It is after these items have been discarded that an exciting transformation begins. Their once identical and uniform surfaces begin to fade and abrade with exposure to the elements—turning them from homogeneity into infinite variety. From this collision of man-made materials and the forces of nature a dynamic palette of weathered hues, tones and textures is inadvertently created.
My work, while full of topical documentary evidence, explores most singularly the power of transformation—physically and perceptually. Initially the compositions appear to reside comfortably within the hermetic, self-referential tradition of minimalist abstraction. But upon discovering the true nature of the source material a tension is revealed between transcending inherent content and examining the nuanced relationships between the urban landscape, consumerism and cultural identity.
Robert Larson, 2013