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.
Conanicut Island Art Association in Jamestown Rhode Island, Painting, 1998
Portland Museum of Art in Portland Maine, self portrait, 1999
University of southern Maine Senior Art Show in Gorham Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2007
Rogues Gallery clothing store in Portland Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2008
Vertigo art gallery in Denver Colorado, Bodies of Waste (eight small figures), write up in Denver post, 2009
Frank Brockman gallery in Brunswick Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2012
The Hive Gallery, Kennebunkport Maine, Bodies of Waste, 2014
Beat Cafe in Tokyo Japan, photos of Bodies of Waste, 2019
Megan Shiotani male bust Co
Brian chalmers oversized head CO
Art Tatangelo Maine Bandit Dreams
Kelly Johnson potty thoughts NY
Vertigo art gallery small figures
Eliott moran small figures
Megan cabaniss newbury street
Isaiah Short lee lion hunt
Grace selfportraits and more
Denver-based sculptor Alex Perrine began his current long-running series, Bodies of Waste, in 2007. In Bodies, Alex works with trash and found objects to create lifelike human figures. When not working on Bodies of Waste, Alex has also fabricated and installed outdoor and indoor Green Walls (vertical gardens), with a notable installation at the Denver International Airport outpost of Root Down, a popular Denver-based restaurant. He has fabricated and installed privately owned outdoor firepits, outdoor projector screens, railings, and fences in Denver and around Colorado.
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.
As a senior at the University of Southern Maine, Alex was awarded the Art Discipline Award, as well as an award for Recognition of Excellence and Artistic Growth from the University’s Art Department. He graduated in 2007, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture.
Alex first exhibited work in his Rhode Island hometown in 1995, when he was the International Peace Poster Contest winner at the Jamestown Lions Club. He has since exhibited work in Maine, Colorado, and, most recently, in Shibuya, Japan. He is currently exhibiting several of his Bodies of Waste sculptures at the Ross-Barnum branch of the Denver Public Library. He is also the Project Director for a community art project in the Barnum neighborhood, working with community members and students from the local elementary school to create a large image using found objects. Alex is planning two pop-up exhibits of photos of his Bodies of Waste series in Tokyo, Japan, for December 2019.
"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