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Western Shade at the Journal

by John Tilley

September 25, 2017

Graham Collins has traded the paintbrush for a sewing machine.

For his third solo show at The Journal in Williamsburg, Collins presents a new and abstracted experience of his own practice. Found paintings are cut and sewn together like ramshackle quilts of various complexity. 

The destruction of potential masterpieces and/or drink-and-paint epic fails reconstrued into swirling geometric canvas sculptures feels like a game of Scruples for art purists. The pieces themselves are like kaleidoscopic combinations of insects’ compound eyes and stained-glass windows: they peek into a colorful legion of anonymous artists’ work, but only by slices.

Collins’ whimsical appropriation of found objects is a ticklish surprise in his sculptures: what at first glance appear to be rather drab abstract bronzes reveal themselves to be, upon closer inspection, constructed from the forms of junk food - the sprawling triangles are Doritos, the curling rectangles Corn Chips, the spindly cylinders Cheetos. Other pieces of more inorganic detritus reveal themselves as well, but there is something especially charming about screens made of potato chips cast in bronze, that revered sculptor’s material.

Western Shade will be open through November 4th at The Journal.