September 2021 Scrawlr Box
Art Journal Every Day: October 2020 Daily Pages

Art Crush: Josh Blackwell's Plastic Bags

I stumbled across Josh Blackwell's artwork online and I couldn't stop staring at it. (He doesn't seem to have a website anymore, FYI.  I hope he's still making art, but I can't seem to find anything recent. ETA: An eagle eyed blog reader found him under J. Stoner Blackwell.) Take a peek:


From the artemorbida website:

By embroidering and stitching onto such items as plastic bags (known as ‘Never Uses’) and oven mitts, Blackwell transforms commonplace objects into visionary sculptures.

Josh Blackwell (b. 1977) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  Trained as a painter, Blackwell has been collecting discarded plastic bags since the mid-2000s, to use them as ‘substrate’ for his combinations of colorful wool yarn, silk thread, and patterned cloth.  Blackwell intervenes into the form of the plastic bag- a globally ubiquitous symbol, to create gorgeous, geometrically abstract compositions that intermix color, texture, and pattern.  Blackwell’s artworks address contemporary themes as environmentalism, excess, utility, and (re)use with a fresh and playful sense of experimentation.

“Thinking about the idea of consumer responsibility led me to begin collecting plastic bags from kitchen cupboards and city streets six years ago. What began as an exercise in environmental conservation evolved into a studio practice combining aspects of painting, sculpture, and installation.

Here are some more gorgeous examples:





Anyone else feel a great desire to start embroidering some plastic bags?!

Thanks for stopping by!