Every good artist needs a medium through which to absorb the world around them and wring out their ideas and emotions. Jeffrey Allen Price uses soft, springy sponges to create colorful large-scale geographical maps. His textured works do a surprisingly accurate job at depicting the irregular borders of the states and continents they are meant to represent. As a metaphor for the current moral and political state of the world, the worn-out sponges have a history of cleaning up hundreds of human messes.
When most sponges reach the end of their use, they end up in the trash bin never to be seen or thought of again. Multimedia artist Jeffrey Allen Price gives the pieces of foam one last moment of glory as part of his giant map installations.
“I started accumulating them and have had the idea for many years to make a U.S. map out of used sponges.” Jeffrey says, “It was a kind of metaphor for American being used up and dirty. I wanted every sponge to be different. When I go to the grocery store to replenish my sponges I look for different colors, patterns, textures that once I’ve finished using would become my latest creation.”
For over 15 years, Price has assembled large works from fragments of recycled materials. He is particularly interested in subjects that allude to the processes of decay and growth as they relate to consumerist culture. His efforts are generally process-based and accumulative – he gathers textiles over a long period of time and crafts them into composites. By purchasing, using, and upcycling his sponges, he explores the ways in which we produce and reject our disposable objects, and how they become a literal part of our landscapes.