San Francisco-based artist Rebecca Szetto uses paintbrushes to create her amazing artworks, but not in the way you would expect. Since 1999, she has been carving the handles of old discarded paintbrushes and turning the essential painting tools into actual works of art.
Rebecca’s unique project began almost 16 years ago, while working as faux painting artist, which basically involved making things look old. “I’d amassed a hefty amount of eco-guilt from the sheer amount of waste, in both material and labor, I witnessed. I began collecting brushes and sandpapers from jobsites for many years with no particular end in mind,” she told Bored Panda. Eventually, she decided to either throw away the used paintbrushes or somehow make use of them, as she was running out of storage space. So she started carving the handles into busts of refined Renaissance women, with the paint-covered hairs acting as elegant gowns.
“These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value. I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher,” Rebecca says. “The paintbrush is self-referential, acting as both subject and object. It refers to the history of painting, through the medium of paint, with its own tool.”
“I just enjoy the sensorial quality of “things” and being able to work with my hands, so whittling isn’t so much a new skill I need to learn but a natural desire to explore and play with a material. As a byproduct, it becomes a method/strategy/personal vocabulary in art for getting my message across in the most efficient and appropriate way”
Photos © Rebecca Szeto
via Bored Panda