From Jenga Blocks to Peanuts, Artist Oli Watt Hatches 101 Duck Decoys Using Found Objects — Colossal

Home / From Jenga Blocks to Peanuts, Artist Oli Watt Hatches 101 Duck Decoys Using Found Objects — Colossal
From Jenga Blocks to Peanuts, Artist Oli Watt Hatches 101 Duck Decoys Using Found Objects — Colossal




Art

#ducks
#found objects
#Oli Watt
#sculpture
#wood

November 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a duck decoy made of children's blocks

“Jenga” (2022), discarded wooden toys, 14 x 6 x 7 inches. All images by Evan Jenkins, courtesy of Carrie Secrist Gallery, shared with permission

During a residency at the home of the late artist Roger Brown, Oli Watt was intrigued by the Chicago Imagist’s duck decoys. An avid collector, Brown cultivated numerous groups of objects and approached the items lining his shelves democratically, seeing all, no matter their cultural or monetary value, as of equal importance. Watt’s encounter with these quotidian trapping devices prompted a similarly impartial project with 101 Decoys, a series of sculptures that explores the relationship between form and function.

The Chicago-based artist, who teaches at the School of the Art Institute where Brown’s collections are housed, uses a range of found materials to construct his flock of waterfowl, from stacked Jenga blocks and pink, plush fabric to wine corks and a Bosch drill battery. Often structured around a wooden base, the final works vary in size and shape and are eclectic, lighthearted interpretations of hunting decoys. Departing from the object’s practical and historical uses, Watt describes his “useless” works as “an exercise in understanding, utilizing, and undermining repetition.”

A selection of 101 Decoys will be on view at Carrie Secrist Gallery from November 4 to December 17. You can find more of the sculptural fowl on the project’s site and Watt’s Instagram.

 

A photo of a duck decoy made of pink plush fabric

“Mr. Pink” (2022), wood and fabric, 22 x 6 x 9 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of wine corks

“Cork” (2021), maple and cork, 17 x 6 x 10 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of wood and white feathers

“Self Portrait Decoy” (2022), maple, poplar, and feathers, 15 x 9 x 7.5 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of wood and a drill battery

“Bosch” (2022), basswood and drill battery, 7 x 4 x 7.5 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of wood and a lighter

“Lighter” (2022), spruce and a lighter, 30 x 4.5 x 6 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of peanuts

“Peanut” (2022), peanut, 2 x 0.5 x 1.5 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of wood and metal

“Knight” (2022), maple, balsawood, cherry, found metal, screws, epoxy, and wood epoxy, 19 x 6 x 10 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of patterned fabric

“Uncle Billy” (2021), wood and fabric, 15.5 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches

A photo of a duck decoy made of a violin and wood

“Violin” (2020), violin, balsa, and cherry, 11 x 6.5 x 7 inches

#ducks
#found objects
#Oli Watt
#sculpture
#wood

 

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