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James Ramirez: Trashed Cans

July 3rd to July 28th

As an artist, I wait patiently for the next project to appear. I don’t force it. Over time I notice things that are supposed to be art, and pick up things that don’t know that they are. I never know what’s going to come together. But sooner or later, without any deep thought on my part, something will. One night, out of the blue I thought, cut the smashed cans into one inch squares and make simple abstract designs out of them. Lightning Bolt. So I started cutting up the cans and playing around. As I did this I was reminded of the mosaic tile walls by Jackie Ferrara that decorate the Grand Central subway station in New York. Among the most incredible (minimal) designs that I have ever seen, and I’m sure my memory of them are coming into play. Some of these cans had just been tossed out, and some were so distressed, paper-thin and faded by the sun who knows how many times they’d been run over or how long they’d been out there. I picked up a smashed Budweiser can, but I couldn’t cut it up. It was too perfect just the way it was. It had a personality to it. Almost a sadness. I decided to try making it the centerpiece, designing around it with the one inch squares, and finally, something had come together.

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