Todd Merrill Studio is pleased to represent Brooklyn-based artist Shari Mendelson.
Mendelson creates handmade sculptures that are made of discarded plastic bottles and inspired by ancient vessels. Her interest lies in the balance between emulating the ancient objects she loves and creating her own original sculptures.
Mendelson spends hours studying ancient artifacts from various museums. While looking at these works, she considers what they were used for, the great civilizations that made them, and what the remaining objects from our time— largely plastic waste— will communicate about us to future civilizations.
Back in her Brooklyn studio, Mendelson reinterprets these ancient pieces using discarded plastic water, soda, and juice bottles. Mendelson collects, cuts into pieces, and hot-glues or sews the plastic parts into new sculptures. The artist’s layered, drippy, whimsical works serve as unique “contemporary relics.” At first glance, her work may resemble the glass or ceramic upon which it is modeled; however, upon closer inspection a logo, recycling stamp, or bottle expiration date reveals its actual material. Using recycled trash to make works that reference elegant objects of the past offers Mendelson the opportunity to playfully explore the transformation of form and material while reflecting on issues of history and culture.
Mendelson’s vessels reside in various museums including The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Old and New Art in Australia. Mendelson’s newest sculpture commissioned by the RISD Museum entered its permanent collection in 2015.
As Mendelson works on a commission basis, custom works may be requested.