Tom Pfannerstill – Starbucks, 2013

Tom Pfannerstill. Starbucks, 2013. Acrylic on wood, 5-3/4″ x 5-1/2″ x 3/4″ / 14.6 x 14 x 1.9 cm.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1951.

“In the most obvious sense these pieces speak to issues of commercialism and consumerism. The objects reflect state-of-the-art-graphics; one can almost sense the well-planned and psychologically tested schemes to sell the products. They are a testament to the effectiveness of that marketing, after all, someone made the decision to purchase the product before consuming it and discarding the packaging. What happens next, though, is of greatest interest to me. These pieces are carried away and undergo a unique series of events that lead to their individuation.”

“These works record harsh realities and the effects of exposure to natural elements over the course of time, time being a major consideration. The notation of where and when I found each piece reinforces this time element. There is also a missing time element, an implied narrative about how the object travelled from where it originated to where I happened upon it.These objects have a life span so to speak (if not an actual one, at least metaphoric one), from their production through their usefulness to their ultimate disposal. As such, I see them as ‘memento mori’, reminders of mortality and the corresponding corollary ‘carpe diem’. They are subtle reminders of the temporal nature of all things.”


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