Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Salina Ellis presents David Maisel

David Maisel’s website is what an artists website should look like. His home page summarizes his projects nicely, and upon entering the site his projects are each given equal attention and introduction.

My favorite project of his is Library of Dust, 2005-2006. Approximately 3500 copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of a patient from Oregon State Asylum, were photographed. The patients died between 1883 and 1970. These are the remains that were never claimed by family.

The copper canisters are covered in chemical and organic growth. The result is hauntingly beautiful. The canister itself is a strong reminder of our own mortality, but when you observe the magnitude of the unclaimed remains, one can’t help but wonder at the fate of humanity in general.

His most recent series, History's Shadow, photographs xrays of artpieces from museums archives.

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