Chris Collins (b. 1980) In a technological landscape built on planned obsolescence and the depletion of non-renewable resources, sculptor Chris Collins studies the legacy of objects and the question of their value within the modern cycle of creation, consumption, and discard. Just as we parse previous generations through the material objects they have left behind, Collins explores how the remnants of our consumerism might likewise describe us to the citizens of a possible future.
Collins utilizes primarily found objects, scavenging the New Mexico desert and the streets and alleys of Los Angeles for the mundane and cast-off items that have outlived their apparent usefulness. He reimagines the form, use, and context of these objects using his skills in metal work, honed by more than a decade’s experience working as a foundry artisan. Through gilding, altering, molding, and casting, these discarded objects – the stump of a felled piñon tree, a gas can riddled with target practice bullet holes, a mobile phone a few generations out from the latest model – are transmuted into enduring artifacts of our civilization. Articulated in the language of metals, from which art, tools, and religious offerings have been crafted for millennia, these relics conjure an imagined archaeology, submitted for consideration by our hypothetical descendants.
Born and raised in Alabama, Chris Collins received a BFA in painting from the University of Montevallo and an MFA in sculpture from Memphis College of Art. His work has been exhibited across the American South and Southwest, and from 2014 – 2017 he operated the art gallery and exhibition space Santa Fe Collective in conjunction with his partner and fellow artist Jennifer Joseph. Previously a contributing faculty member at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Collins currently teaches metal casting at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA.