YOUNGSTOWN, OH.- The Butler Institute of American Art
, located in Youngstown, hosts an exhibition of new work by Youngstown native and New York City artist, Ron Barron. The exhibition, titled TRASHSCANS, is presented in two installments of thirty works in the Butler's Beecher Center South Wing, Novak Gallery.TRASHS-CANS: Series One opened in February, and TRASHSCANS: Series Two will open April 15 and continue through June 3, 2012. A film by Richard Hahn and Megan Barron that documents the artist's process and the evolution of the project accompanies the exhibition.
Ron Barron lived and worked in New York City in the entertainment industry. To create a commentary on contemporary culture in Manhattan, Barron spent most of 2011 gathering discarded objects--paper, scraps of fabric, tickets and the like--from New York City streets, keeping the refuse of particular neighborhoods in separate containers. Once gathered and sorted, Barron arranged the materials from each neighborhood on a flatbed scanner. The high resolution prints resulting from these scans are presented as digital artworks, or TrashScans, in this unique exhibition.
Barrons theory, ultimately proven in this exhibition, was that what he found would vary considerably from one location to another. The discards from Greenwich Village, for example, differ from what was discovered on Manhattans Upper East Side. Additionally, the artist discovered that objects found in well-known tourist spots contrasted profoundly with materials found in private, lesser-known places. Thus, each of the sixty pieces in the exhibition present a distinct area or neighborhood of the city, and the works are titled accordingly.
Ron Barron has stated, An archaeological dig is about finding and analyzing pottery, bones, utensils, weapons, etc., to form a picture of human lives. It occurred to me that I could collect fresh trash, without having to excavate, that would tell me a lot about contemporary American culture. Having lived in New York City for fifteen years, I decided to search the gutters of Manhattan.
According to Butler Director and Chief Curator Dr. Louis Zona, Each of these individual works of assembled materials are beautiful in composition and color, and are creatively arranged to both engage and confound the viewer, much like the works of early Dada artists. Taken as works of collage, the art pieces are wonderfully appealing, but when examined further, each work presents content to inform us in a profound and entertaining way. Barron's approach is truly unique, and his methods are among the best that an artist can employ as they apply new media to the visual arts.