Daily, an American generates almost 4.5 pounds of trash -- more than a ton annually.
Will all of our trash simply outlast us? Or will it overwhelm the environment and ultimately destroy us?
These are the questions artist Alex Perrine seeks to raise through his ongoing project Bodies of Waste, a series of sculptures created using discarded and found objects and based on the human figure. Alex most often finds his materials in the streets and alleys of his Denver neighborhood, which he then weaves, twists, ties, bends, and wraps together to create his works.
Alex draws the inspiration for many of the figures in Bodies from Classical Antiquity. By evoking these elegant figures in forms made of trash, Alex creates a dichotomy between beauty and excessive waste. What objects do you recognize when you view one of these sculptures? What do they remind you of?
The objects are thoughtfully placed, and at times intentionally humorous. A scrotum is made of a dog's chew toy; teeth are made from a saw blade. Wires and cables remind us of veins and arteries. Trash bags and pieces of rubber become fat and muscle. Food utensils and containers show us man's insatiable appetite. Portions of mirrors, shiny metal, and sunglasses reflect the viewer's image (and, perhaps, their culpability) back onto the sculpture.
By showcasing objects people recognize from their daily lives, Alex’s sculptures become more personal, visually engaging, and thought-provoking. This body of work illustrates our dependency on the material world, and the harm done to the natural world -- and ultimately, to ourselves -- by the careless use and disposal of those materials.
Through his art, Alex seeks to educate the viewer about humanity’s effect on the natural world, and provoke discussion about trash, recycling, repurposing, and the impact we have on the environment.
Colorado Art Council Spear Bearer, 2020 - present
Barnum Ross Public Library, Denver, Colorado, Los Osos, 2020 - present
Beat Cafe, Tokyo Japan, digital images of Bodies of Waste, 2019
The Hive Gallery, Kennebunkport Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2014
Frank Brockman Gallery, Brunswick Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2012
Vertigo Art Gallery, Denver Colorado, Bodies of Waste, 2009
Rogues’ Gallery, Portland Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2008
University of Southern Maine, Gorham Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2007
Portland Museum of Art, Portland Maine, self portrait, 1999
Conanicut Island Association, Jamestown Rhode Island, painting 1998
Vertigo Art Gallery, CO, small figures
Megan Shiotani, CO, male bust
Brian Chalmers, CO, oversized head
Art Tatangelo, ME, Bandit Dreams
Kelly Johnson, NY, Potty Thoughts
Eliott Moran, CO. small figures
Megan Cabaniss, Germany. Newbury Street
Isaiah Short Lee, NY, Lion Hunt
Grace Martin, NH, self portraits and more
At the core of Alex’s work is the juxtaposition of the beauty of the human form as celebrated in Greek sculpture and the ongoing issue of the degradation of the planet. His body of work is visually engaging, and thought-provoking. It illustrates our dependency on the material world, and the harm we do to it by the careless use and disposal of materials.
The Rhode Island based sculptor began his current long-running series, Bodies of Waste, in 2007. Trash and found objects are assembled to create lifelike human figures. Alex has fabricated and installed green walls (vertical gardens), indoors and outdoors. A notable installation may be seen at the Denver International Airport at Root Down Restaurant. He has constructed and installed fire pits, outdoor projector screens, railings, and fences.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1983 and raised in Jamestown, Alex’s catalog of artistic influences began at a young age. His mother, Susan Perrine, is a fiber artist; she and her community of artists and artisans served as early inspirations. Alex also credits his art teachers at Jamestown Elementary and Middle Schools with shaping his nascent vision, which was furthered by a chance encounter with trash artist Thomas Deniniger at the Newport Art Museum in 1999 and by his college professor (and fellow sculptor) Duncan Hewitt.
Alex earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture in 2007 at the University of Southern Maine. He received the Art Discipline Award and the Award for Recognition of Excellence and Artistic Growth from the University’s Art Department.
Alex’s self portrait received top honors at Portland Museum of Art, Youth Art Exhibit, during his senior year of high school. His first exhibited work won the International Peace Poster Contest of the Jamestown Lions Club. He has since exhibited work in Maine, Colorado, Sint Maarten, Rhode Island and Shibuya, Japan.
In 2020, Alex collaborated with his community to build, ‘Los Osos de Barnum Reciclan’ He was Project Director, working with city officials, community members and nearby elementary school students to create a 5 foot tall bear and install it at the entrance to the Ross-Barnum Public Library in Denver.
Spear Bearer, a 90” tall sculpture, is currently on exhibit in Lafayette, CO. It was selected for Art on the Street. a project funded in part by Colorado Arts.
"Alex Perrine. He creates colorful, cyborglike figures made of an astonishing array of discarded objects. This detritus is shaped into surprisingly accurate anatomical forms and tied together with errant strips of wire. These works manage to be playful yet carry multiple metaphorical implications."
- The Denver Post