Jeff Owen is a metal sculptor from the SF Bay Area, who recently appeared in our show ReTHINKit, a show focused around art made from recycled materials. Owen’s art is based on the use of recycled materials, making him a perfect fit for the show.
To create a piece Owen goes through local scrapyards and looks for metals and materials that catch his eye. Back at his studio he reworks this material, trying to create individual patterns and structures inspired by the material. He doesn’t necessarily have an end product in mind, and keeps working as long as he feels his creative touch is necessary. Though he doesn’t have an aesthetic end product in mind when he starts working, the results are thought provoking, beautiful, and unique forms. This is on full display in pieces like Tree House with Swing and Bouquet, both of which were part of the ReTHINKit show.
Tree House with Swing is still here at the gallery and is an eye catching delicate piece, which provides an interesting contrast to the rough and discarded metal it was shaped from. It’s childhood themes coupled with its aesthetic quality makes for a complex and introspective piece.
The sculptures are an interesting take on the readymade, reflecting Owen’s local environment through the material. He turns a mass produced object that has been discarded by society into something unique and special. With Owen’s philosophy of letting the sculpture be made as he feels works creatively results in an organic and emotional piece, that also manifests Owen’s attitudes and creative flow as the sculpture was being made. It is not just a piece of the local environment, but a piece of the artist himself.