Duke Riley’s recycled art on view at the Brooklyn Museum

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)
2 min readJun 15, 2022
Duke Riley's recycled art on view at the Brooklyn Museum

Duke Riley’s recycled art on view at the Brooklyn Museum

From 17 June 2022 to 23 April 2013, the Brooklyn Museum presents ‘DEATH TO THE LIVING, Long Live Trash’, an exhibition of works created by artist Duke Riley from materials collected from the beaches of the northeastern United States.

Source: Brooklyn Museum · Image: Duke Riley (American, born 1972). “Nos. 50-P, 74-P, 10, 70, 112, and 106” of “The Poly S. Tyrene Memorial Maritime Museum”, 2020. (Photo: Robert Bredvad) Salvaged, painted plastic. Courtesy of the artist. © Duke Riley.

The exhibition features approximately 250 recent works by Riley, created from objects (like plastic canisters) collected from beaches which, the museum explains, “connects the history of American maritime art to present-day issues of environmental justice and the pollution of New York waterways.”

“Riley replaces the medium’s historical base materials (typically whale teeth) with collected and repurposed plastic containers, detergent bottles, toothbrushes, and other plastic waste. The pieces depict subject matter traditional to scrimshaw , like sea animals and ships, but expand it to portray international business executives that the artist identifies as responsible for the perpetuation of single-use plastics. Also on view are Riley’s fishing lures and seashell mosaics (historically known as sailor’s valentines), similarly created with detritus such as cigarette butts, pencil casings, and plastics found on northeast coastal beaches. As a hopeful juxtaposition to its indictment of corporation-driven pollution, the exhibition’s concluding galleries debut three new short films that highlight the impactful work New York community members are doing to remediate the damage that plastics have inflicted.”

“Duke Riley has consistently challenged dominant narratives around important social and political issues through his drawings, installations, and public art projects”, explains Liz St. George, Assistant Curator at the Brooklyn Museum. “Executed with a rollicking mischievous streak, Riley’s work in this exhibition offers an exciting opportunity to explore his longtime passion for maritime history as well as contemporary environmental issues, particularly the detrimental impact of pollution and single-use plastics on New York’s waterfront communities.” #2022 #BrooklynMuseum #theartwolf

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

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