Sculpture with found materials has been a staple of contemporary art, but Jeremy Mayer focuses his practice specifically on one type of pre-made object: the typewriter.
The artist rummages for these vintage objects at flea markets and thrift stores before taking them home to fully disassemble them. He then turns the typewriters into something completely new. He builds them into everything from mandalas to a birds to giant human figures.
Mayer sometimes creates an initial sketch to establish the general layout of new pieces, but the rest of the construction relies on how the parts fit together. While this sounds challenging, it also results in plenty of spontaneity that makes each piece more surprising and interesting than the one before it.
“I've been making full-scale, nude, anatomically correct human figures and other stuff from typewriter parts (100% typewriter parts and nothing else) for about 20 years,” Mayer tells The Creators Project. “I don't solder, glue, weld, or wire them together. Just assembly. Not easy. Takes forever.”
Mayer’s Nude VI (Theia) stands over seven feet tall. The figure brings to mind dystopian visions of humanity, specifically those created in film like Metropolis. In this way, Mayer seems to invoke the future even while building his works out of technology strongly associated with the past.
And while Mayer uses an obsolete object in his work, he makes sure that the typewriters he takes apart are far from pristine condition (and, in many cases, no longer working). He rarely cleans them, preserving their original state. The memories embedded in each typewriter and its many parts stay intact, even when the pieces fit together in a new way.
To find out more about Jeremy Mayer, click here.