Barbra Brady

Office Supplies Worth Framing

In Art on September 23, 2011 at 2:48 am

The Office: An Artist in Every Cubicle

Welcome to the Grand Opening of
the Museum of Office Materials Art
curated by Barbra Brady

In honor of the season premiere of one of my favorite tv shows, The Office, I’ve curated a special exhibition of works by artists who find their inspiration (and raw materials) in office supplies. After visiting Yoga Modern’s MOMA, I believe you’ll think twice before tossing the junk on your desk at The Office Jerk. Those bits of office detritus may become valuable works of art in the hands of the artists you will find here.

Aisle 1 

Many people have at one point in their lives chewed on a pencil.  

But how many of us can do this with a pencil?Chain, carved pencil and its lead

Self-taught artist/carpenter Dalton M. Ghetti has rightly received a lot of attention for the mini-objects he carves into the lead tips of pencils. You’ve got to look at what this man can get out of a Number 2. Here’s a (yogic) quote from his website:

For Dalton, sculpting pencils is a hobby and a form of meditation, which requires a lot of patience. His pencil carvings are not for sale. He doesn’t do it for money. He sculpts pencils mostly for himself and his art comes from his heart. He wants to keep it that way.

Aisle 2 (Pssst: We have a Dilbert sighting on Aisle 2)

Most of us have at one time or another covered a computer monitor in Post-it notes. (Oh, come on.) I just checked their website, and have to say, artist Rebecca Murtaugh does their new tagline, “Reinventing the note” one (or many) better:

Rebecca Murtaugh, To Mark a Significant Place in the Living Room, 2007

 I see myself as a collector of sensual objects and materials with the predispositions of a mad scientist. I find myself intrigued with many materials I come into contact with, some for their formal properties like surface and color, and others for their inherent conceptual potential. Rebecca Murtaugh


Aisle 3

On aisle 3 you will find an item that may have been tinkered with more than any other office supply. The paper clip.

But rarely as deftly as when in the, ahem, hands of British artist StephaniRobinsonwho is currently studying Creative Arts at Bath Spa University. (Be sure to check her blogsite to see what her Eiffel Tower is made of.)

Aisle 4

There are plain envelopes

and there are art-velopes. In Security Envelope, artist Garth Weiser uses ordinary envelopes as his raw material. He unfolds and dismantles them into intriguing abstract compositions. While they may be “just an envelope,” here they become forms of raw beauty.

You must peek inside these envelopes.

Aisle 5

You may never look at a roll of tape the same way again (or leave it to sit idly on your desk) after watching this mesmerizing, ahem, video tape by Dutch artitst Johan Rijpma.

Tape Generations, installation, video performance art

Aisle 6

Admit it. You pay little homage to the ubiquitous staple. This may change once you survey the work of artist Peter Root.

Low Rise, 2006, staples

Root has high-rise regard for the humble fastener. You’ll want to de-load your staplers and become a kid again. (Even accountants.)

“The work I create regularly involves highly labour-intensive, mantra-like procedures of construction and assemblage. As well as being simple, playful experiments the work often touches upon themes of impermanence, repetition, structure, pattern, scale and architecture. My work often takes the form of extremely fragile, temporary arrangements, with works subject to micro-apocalyptic events such as a light breeze or a falling leaf.” Peter Root

Aisle 7

When typos happen, White-out can make it better.

Then again, in talented hands White-Out can do more than take care of a mistake. Take a look at this clip, where it becomes sacred art right before your very eyes.

But then, in yogic eyes and souls, isn’t the day-to-day, isn’t everything around us sacred, and a creation of beauty and bliss

Break over. Please return to your cubicle.

 first published on Yoga Modern

  1. I always buy my office supplies online because the price is cheaper. *

    Check out our personal blog too

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