These Pink-Painted Cockle Shells, carefully placed and adhered to a pink board is a work by artist Tony Feher (1956–2016). I first saw the piece from the side as I entered the gallery from another room and was intrigued by how much the shells looked like the suckers of a octopus (see detail photo, below)! It may look like a ‘kid could do this,’ but consider the thought behind it in the scope of the artist’s oeuvre. The work is actually part of a series entitled It Didn’t Turn Out The Way I Expected from 2016.
Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Tony Feher’s unique body of work recast the utilitarian and familiar into sculptures both elegant and ambiguous in their perceived simplicity. His materials often included found items and common detritus, including bottles, containers, and glasses; empty vessels that served their immediate function, and are subsequently discarded. In careful arrangements, Feher foregrounds the aesthetic properties of these objects—color, shape, mass—against their physical disposability. The results are installations both vulnerable and poetic in their presentation, contemplating the endurance of form against the transience of meaning.
Photographed in Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC.