Both locations of Chelsea’s Paul Kasmin Gallery are currently home to three oversized installations by NYC-based artist Will Ryman. Each room in the galleries is overtaken by a piece of epic proportions. Using paint brushes, bottle caps, rubber soles, and nails as his materials, Ryman creates surreal figures and environments using every day objects.
Visitors are greeted with a wall-sized horizontal face, either relaxing in slumber or motionless in death — the fate of the figure is up for interpretation. The plaster face coils around the room and is met with a massive blue t-shirt made from the rugged soles from 250 pairs of work boots. Out from the blue t-shirt pokes a silver arm that intersects the room, snaking around to reveal an open palm. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the glittering arm is made from thousands of polished silver bottle caps, held together with strong adhesive to make the mass. A wall-sized pair of jeans line the northern wall, with silver bottle cap feet poking out. Over 30,000 bottle caps were used to make up this lifeless man’s limbs.
A jagged, almost fang-like framed door leads visitors to the second installation. Inside, a textured beige labyrinth coils around the room. The wood and furry walls are actually made from scores of art supplies themselves: paint brushes. The brushes are stacked in uneven piles, sometimes reaching up to 14 feet tall, varying in arrangement to create both hairy walls with the bristles and wooden scallops with the handles. The neutral color and overlapping tools create organic shapes that the visitor can explore, leaving the brushes’ original purpose totally forgotten.
The third space, located at the gallery’s second location, holds a lone giant bird sculpture. Made entirely from nails varying from regular size to several feet long, the Raven was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. It holds a metal rose between its beak and is made up of rows of nail tufted feathers.
Will Ryman transforms ordinary objects into components of his grandiose installations, rendering each piece’s original function to be completely irrelevant.
Images © Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat