Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen is a Canadian-born artist who experiments until he is able to manipulate or take advantage of the materials he has, without completely changing them. Jungen explored his interest in using sports paraphernalia, creating sculptures out of catchers mitts, baseball bats, and basket ball jerseys and has made the deliberate choice to create further works out of materials produced by the sports industry. There is always a link to the Aboriginals from Canada throughout his work which is heritage, including that of sports teams names, Northwest Coast Aboriginal masks and the general re-using of items to prolong their life. Although there is always this connection, his work is not exclusively tied to his heritage, but rather finds it more of a personal involvement.

His more recent works look at his interest in architecture, creating shelters for humans, animals and birds. He disassembles and reassembles objects to maintain the integrity and meaning of the source material, while being able to create new possibilities for their meaning. This can be seen especially within his Shapeshifter (along with Cetology and Vienna) work that is currently being displayed at the National Gallery of Canada. This piece makes a statement about cultural hybridity and institutional displays of marine life, both alive and dead. The sculpture resembles a non-anatomically correct whale, with a composition influenced by the forms of white plastic chairs that can be found in discount stores around the world.

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