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Green Artist Spotlight: David Stark

3/27/2009 11:25:52 AM

Tags: eco-artist, green artist spotlight, cardboard furniture, recycled materials

Since my first Green Artist Spotlight with David Trubridge, I’ve sought out artists that have transformed their materials, their specific industries and their methods in order to push sustainable art to new grounds. The creativity, unique flare and eco-consciousness of each featured artist have struck me as remarkable and truly moving.

Although I’ve enjoyed writing about each artist, I’m tickled to dedicate today’s Green Artist Spotlight to the inventive and genius mind of the Brooklyn, New York, designer and author David Stark. The eco-artist creates playful, stunning and intricate works. Collectively, his work sets the tone for the function of the space. If his work doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I’m not sure what will.

I was first introduced to his work a year ago in my modern and contemporary art history class at the University of Denver, Colorado, and since then I’ve been following his work online.

Earlier this month, Alex Bates, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for West Elm, and Stark collaborated to create a silent auction of Starks’ work at West Elm’s newest store in Manhattan, New York. West Elm is a modern and contemporary home furnishing store. Stark created innovative furniture and room decorations, which reflected his artistic style as well as the image of West Elm. The two saw the store’s opening as an opportunity to reuse and transform the store’s discarded packing materials into works of attractive art.

The silent auction raised about $8,000, all of which went to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.
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The window display at West Elm. Photo Courtesy David Stark.

At the silent auction, the window display was illuminated with a 10-foot tall lamp that was accompanied by an oversized cardboard plug. One of my favorite aspects of the works, besides that they were eco-friendly and a creative use of discarded objects, was Stark’s tribute to artists that affected his work.

Perfect Lovers by Felix Gonzalez-Torrez is two simple white clocks placed next to each other that are set for the same time, down to the second. The clocks reflect two lovers who are completely in sync with one another. Starks homage to Gonzalez-Torrez captures the simplicity of the clocks by using two sheets of plain cardboard.
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Perfect Lovers. Photo Courtesy David Stark.

The artist takes creative liberty by not matching up the second’s hands of the cardboard clocks. A clock series developed from his Gonzalez-Torrez based clocks.

Another piece that paid tribute to an artist was a cardboard pipe based on Magritte’s This is Not a Pipe. His furniture is reminiscent of Frank Gehry’s 1972 cardboard furniture series.

I’m attracted to Starks’ work because he builds on previous artists’ works, honors the past and makes these works uniquely his own. With more than 13 years experience creating and perfecting magnificent works, I’m excited to see what he comes up with next.



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