While these look like packaging discards borne out of our conspicuous consumption, they’re not. Instead, they’re sculptures that come as part of Tom Pfannerstill’s From the Street series, which painfully recreate worn out junk items using wood and paint.
That’s right, someone went through piles of garbage, picked out the most aesthetically-pleasing ones, then took them back to his studio. There, he modeled them in basswood and paint, recreating erstwhile rotting trash into fresh sculptures that can be hung up to decorate walls and set down on display shelves.
Each piece included in From the Street consists of wood that’s been carefully cut, carved, and painted to produce an accurate reproduction of the trash being modeled. He uses either acrylic or enamel paint to create a mirror image of the object’s color and layout, complete with creases, folds, and tears like any throwaway item should have. On the back of each piece, the artist writes a description of where and when the item was found to serve as a record of the source model for the piece. Every item is produced according to the original object’s dimensions, so you can leave it in the sidewalk and have everyone think it’s just plain, old garbage someone left to rot on its own.
The series includes a wide variety of discarded objects, including beer boxes, gasoline cans, drink cups, old trucker hats, and more. You can check Tom Pfannerstill’s website to see the entire From the Street collection.