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Specter / Gabriel Reese
'Scrap Condo'
Mixed-media on cloth (hand-painted) 2009

Broadening the discourse surrounding the current ROM exhibition Housepaint Phase 2: Shelter (Level 4, Roloff Beny Gallery), the idea of a ‘Scrap Condo’ collapses the prevalent modes of shelter in both the “developed” and “developing” worlds into a single form.

A mixed-media drawing, the installation depicts discarded items that are commonly used in the creation of shelter. Combined, they form a massive condo tower that reaches through four floors of the Museum.

The work is a tribute to the resourcefulness of people around the world who are forced to make due with abandoned waste to create their homes.

The hand-painted images depicted in ‘Scrap Condo’ represent actual items left on city streets in both Toronto and New York City. Many carry pre-existing markings, posters, and graffiti. These personalized marks illustrate the connection and value associated with unwanted objects by street artists -- creating a common link between artist and constructor … the search for beauty and purpose in the abject.

There is no one correct vantage point or point for examining this piece. Influenced by street art and site-specific practices, it responds intimately with its situation and encourages the viewers to explore their surroundings