19 Aug
One man's garbage is another man's treasure

The work of Hamburg-based artist Thorsten Brinkmann is strangely disturbing and unsettling, in a way that you cannot quite put your finger on. By all descriptive accounts, his pieces are fairly innocuous — just people with random objects placed all over them. Yet there’s something sinister in the portraits. Something about substituting body parts with found objects that just sort of unnerves the viewer. As a practitioner of objet trouvé, or found art, Brinkmann scours flea markets, trash bins, dumpsters and alleyways for jettisoned urban trash to re-assemble into art, be it photography, installations, or videos. Flower pots, bottles, discarded stuffed animals, furniture — if it’s detritus, it’s functional. An interesting wrinkle to it all is that the models are Brinkmann himself — he’ll set up the shot, hit the timer, run inside frame and throw all these pieces of junk all over himself. Getting a model sounds easier, but I suppose you can’t question an artist’s technique.  Embracing the concept of one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, Brinkmann elevates the idea to the level of almost sublime…frightening, yes, but isn’t sublime always a bit terrifying?

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