Art from the series "The Collectors," installation view, Cerritos College Art Gallery, 2018.

Art from the series "The Collectors," installation view, Cerritos College Art Gallery, 2018.

Inspired by rock collectors, desert dwellers and junk hoarders, 'The Collectors' is an exhibition of art works by Sonja Schenk that looks at the very human desire to acquire, accumulate, and arrange the objects we own. Just as ancient humans came across gold and other objects of beauty and decided to keep them, we all work daily to search, scavenge, acquire, quantify and organize, all to our own mysterious purposes. But as one peels away the metaphors attached to the objects themselves - the importance assigned to precious metals, the meanings attributed to various gemstones, the healing and mystical properties believed to be inherent to crystals and other rare minerals - it becomes clear what we desire to control and quantify is perhaps the very earth itself. In light of the changes that are affecting our planet, this desire becomes even more poignant, the action of collecting or hoarding is ever more futile and desperate. As Fredric Jameson once claimed, "It is now easier to imagine the end of the world, than it is to imagine the end of capitalism."  'The Collectors' consists of paintings, installation works, and sculpture, including the interactive installation, 'The Box,' created through the Cerritos College Art+Tech Residency program in collaboration with the Cerritos College welding department.

"The Collectors" (oil, canvas, foam, plaster, acrylic paint, recycled packing materials) 72" x 76" x 36" 2018

"The Collectors" (detail)

"The Collectors" (detail)

"The World is Teeming with LIfe," (resin, plaster, polystyrene, monofilament, acrylic paint) 24" x 20" x 10" 2016.

"ML-2010, VX2452MH, RP-280 5.1.4, EX2700100PAS" (plaster castings from product packaging materials, plastic pallet)
48” x 48” x 24” 2017

"ML-2010, VX2452MH, RP-280 5.1.4, EX2700100PAS" (detail)

Seven Visions of the Future (#4), plaster, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24" x 24" 2017

Lithic (oil on canvas) 60" x 72" 2018

"Lithic" (detail)

"Lithic" (detail)

“Endless (Opportunity)” Oil on canvas 24” x 30” 2017

"Element" (oil on canvas) 14" x 17" 2017

"Negative Space" (oil on canvas) 14" x 17" 2017


The Collectors (study 01) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 02) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 03) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 04) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 05) 14" x 17" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 06) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 07) 14" x 17" oil on canvas 2017

The Collectors (study 08) 14" x 14" oil on canvas 2017


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"The Box," part of the series "The Collectors," is an interactive installation that consists of a complex set of parts, carefully packed in custom paper-pulp molding, along with disposable tools, hardware, and a large image-based instruction diagram, all located inside a non-descript metal box. When unpacked by visitors to the exhibition, the contents of this box will expand to produce an assemblage (and/or multiple assemblages) large enough to fill the exhibition space.

"The Box" (in its pristine state)

"The Box" (aluminum, steel, form-molded paper pulp, foam, screenprint and hand inkjet transfer on paper) 2018

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