Tyrrell Winston is a contemporary artist known for his found-object artworks, which feature deflated basketballs, broken nets, and cigarette butt compositions. Living in New York, Winston walks around different neighborhoods and collects such “trash” to turn into sculptures, which are displayed in multiple galleries around the world.
Winston’s art is beautiful and thought-provoking–upon first viewing his work on social media, I was immediately captured by his deflated basketball sculptures, as their colorful vibrance has a unique beauty to it, and literally turns one man’s trash into another man’s treasure. I also enjoy viewing his cigarette “paintings” as well–their uniformity has pleasing aesthetic qualities and questions America’s obsession with smoking despite knowledge of its harmful dangers. Both basketballs and cigarettes have become unofficial symbols of “coolness” and Winston’s popularity certainly has capitalized on this. It’s intriguing and somewhat endearing how his works of art evoke questions about ephemerality and identity with showing simple objects.
On the other hand, I personally believe Winston walks a fine line between art and appropriation. Marcel Duchamp is considered the pioneer of “Readymade” art in which found objects are considered art by placing them into a different context. Duchamp’s work during the 20th century was astounding at the time, and some of his most famous works are Fountain, a literal urinal, and everyday objects such as a bicycle wheel or a shovel. Tyrrell Winston’s work utilizes these artistic ideas of recontextualization and makes them his own, yet there is a point when work becomes redundant. Some of his critics accuse him of being pretentious, unoriginal, and boring. I’m not sure whether his work is truly “different” enough to be so renowned and celebrated.
In any case, Winston is a distinctive artist. Take a look at some of the art below and let me know your thoughts on Winston’s work!