artist Derick Melander

I am attracted to the intricate sculpture work of this artist; just look at a list of materials he uses:
stacked and folded second-hand clothing, white sneakers & work boots, lint roller tape, belts, folded doll clothing

Artist Statement:
I create large geometric configurations from carefully folded and stacked second-hand clothing. These structures take the form of wedges, columns and walls, typically weighing between five hundred pounds and two tons. Larger works are often site-responsive, creating discrete environments.

As clothing wears, fades, stains and stretches, it becomes an intimate record of our physical presence. It traces the edge of the body, defining the boundary between the self and the outside world.

The clothing used for these works is folded to precise dimensions with careful attention paid to the ordering of the garments. The sequencing can relate to the way clothing is layered on the body, it can be sorted by color, by gender or by the order that it was received. Individual components are sometimes connected together with shirt sleeves, pant legs and belts, creating bridge-like formations. Through these processes, I hope to engage the viewer and communicate the emotional resonance of second hand clothing.

For me, the process of folding and stacking the individual garments adds a layer of meaning to the finished piece. When I come across a dress with a hand-sewn repair or a coat with a name written inside the collar, the work starts to feel like a collective portrait. As the layers of clothing accumulate, the individual garments are compressed into a single mass, a symbolic gesture that explores the conflicted space between society and the individual, a space that is ceaselessly broken and re-constituted.