When speaking about Paintbrushes the Encyclopedia Brittanica (2008) notes that paintbrushes are a “device composed of natural or synthetic fibres set into a handle that is used for cleaning, grooming, polishing, writing, or painting. Brushes were used by man as early as the Paleolithic Period (began about 2,500,000 years ago) to apply pigment, as shown by the cave paintings of Altamira in Spain and the Perigord in France. In historical times the early Egyptians used brushes to create their elaborate tomb paintings, while the ancient Chinese employed the tip of a long-haired brush to make the many intricate characters of their writing, a practice continued in the Orient today.”
So what does one do with an old and discarded paleolithic pigment propagator? Well if you’re Rebecca Szeto, you turn it into an exquisite piece of art! That’s right, old and discarded paintbrushes can be turned into works of art IF you have an eye for the creative… and a desire to find “the poetic intersection of the material and the immaterial”. If that sounds a little odd or even ironic, this is exactly what happens when San Francisco artist Rebecca Szeto gets her hand on old paint brushes. What began as an afterthought, Ms. Szeto was looking for something to do with discarded paintbrushes left over from her faux finishing jobs. What she came up with is truly inspiring!
“These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value. I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher. The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, with its own tool.” –Rebecca Szeto
Old Paint Brushes Are Works of Art
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