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  • Gabriela Hamm

Brain Coral & Coral 1

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Sculptures by Toby Zallman

Coral 1


Plastic Bags and Steel Wire

Brain Coral


Plastic Bags and Steel Wire

Regarding his work, the artist has stated the following, giving us insight into what inspires her work and what led to some of her key artistic choices.

Artist Statement: My art transforms toxic refuse into evocative objects of abstract seduction, that bring a sense of beauty to environmentally devastating situations and arouse cognitive dissonance in viewers. Since 2005, I have made sculptures and drawings which respond to the by-products of our society’s rampant consumerism. My aim is for the work to incite both a sense of pleasure and a disturbing awareness of

the degradation of our oceans, land, and bodies. This engaging visual experience will support change in viewers' behaviors. My involvement with the group, Organizing for Plastic Alternatives, has both channeled some energy towards finding practical solutions to these problems, as well as increased awareness of my own problematic behaviors and how to change them. Since 1992, I have worked primarily as a materials-based sculptor, combining natural and manufactured materials to represent dualities such as hard/soft, masculine/feminine or ephemeral/enduring. In recent years my art practice has evolved to include drawing, utilizing processes that are both digital and analog, incorporating conventional drawing materials with computer-manipulated images. The

drawings also contrast figuration and abstraction.

By using mundane and utilitarian materials, images of plastic products, or computer detritus, I show viewers my, and their, complicity in contributing to climate change, while making visually intriguing works. I am attracted to the physical qualities embodied in this waste, which provide a rich range of possibilities for transformation into both 2-D and 3-D forms. I am excited by the work of artists like Diana Cohen, Aaditi Joshi, and El Anatsui in the way they bring a strong formal sense to their use of repurposed materials.

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