Craft and Folk Art Museum Presents SALVAGED: Aaron Kramer and the Secret Life of Objects

If artist Aaron Kramer could have it his way, there would be no waste! “Trash is the failure of imagination,” is his philosophy while he embraces commonly discarded objects as his inspiration. Open through September 12, 2010, Salvaged, Aaron Kramer’s first solo museum exhibition, offers a peek into the mind of this full time artist, and part time alchemist.

Equal parts designer, artist, and inventor, Aaron has been redefining junk since his early childhood in Chicago. On a mission to rethink and reclaim literally thousands of objects he sees discarded, Aaron is simply in awe of things’ hidden potential. When designing his creations, he is fascinated not only by the outward appearance, but the unexpected origin of the materials. ‘While I use nontraditional materials, my work is still rooted in a Fine Craft tradition. I sometimes like to think of it as “extreme basket making,”’ he adds jovially when pressed about his apparent connection to his materials.

A self described Tinkerer, he blends his inventor mind with his masterful hands to transform abandoned street sweeper bristles into whimsical spheroids and amorphous gourds. Discarded coffee stirrers morph into intricate and elegant chandeliers, while wine corks are crafted into functional furniture. Small or large, new or old, and simple or complex everyday objects are reincarnated by Aaron’s intermingling of the found and the fabricated.

Aaron’s technical expertise and high craftsmanship combined with an innate sense of functional design harness the potential of ordinary ‘junk’ into wonderful art and functional works. By creating art that often feels playful, Aaron addresses the urgent issues of recycling and repurposing everyday materials to sustain our planet. He encourages us to look at the discarded as potent and poetic and reminds us that inspiration lay all around us.

About the Artist

Aaron Kramer received a BFA in Visual Communications from Northern Illinois University in 1985. After working as a design associate in Chicago, he spent over a year traveling the country on his bicycle and making collages along the way. He has participated extensively in craft shows and gallery and museum exhibitions including the Bandini Art Gallery, the Smithsonian Craft Show, and SOFA in Chicago. He has also had many artworks featured in print publications and television programs including Craft Magazine, Extreme Makeover Home Addition, and the Carol Duval Television show. Aaron divides his time between his wife and children, teaching, and his studio where he is always constructing new forms and finding new ways to change trash into treasure.

CAFAM – Craft and Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel 323.937.4230

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