Image courtesy of Ian TraskAll images courtesy of Ian Trask

Vaccine vials, piano keys, matchboxes, and vintage slides. These are the materials one encounters in the work of Brooklyn-based artist Ian Trask. By creating refined artistic objects out of trash, Trask forces us to reconsider the value of our waste. Untapped Cities headed to his new solo exhibition “Give and Take,” at the Ground Floor Gallery to check out his unique recycled compositions.

Trask began his career as an artist in 2007 after working as a lab technician after college. The bright composition above made out of used vaccine vials from a veterinary clinic in Brooklyn speaks to his previous career.

Image courtesy of Ian Trask

Continuing with the theme of science, pictured above are Trask’s “Spores,” spheres held together with yarn and bursting with different materials such as matchboxes, bubble wrap, and old leather belts. What results are unique sculptures with delightful and diverse textures; no one spore is alike.

Image courtesy of Ian Trask


The artist’s works using discarded elastic belts are also stunning. Here above, he mounts his composition on an old wooden door.

Image courtesy of Ian Trask

A sense of playfulness permeates through all the work. In the above work, he creates a magnetic chess set made out of old silverware.

Image courtesy of the artist

Image courtesy of Ian Trask

ian trask slides

Much of Trask’s materials are sourced through his community. A Bushwick-based artistic family, the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, put up an online post offering to give away their massive collection 35 mm slides from the 1950s to ’80s. Trask accepted their offer and left their apartment with nearly 5000 slides. After sending days sifting through the enormous collection, Trask began to layer slides with similar transparency values and placed them in vintage slide viewers. The results are totally unique and often bizarre compositions.

“Give and Take” will be on view through Sunday, October 4th at The Ground Floor Gallery at 343 5th Street in Brooklyn. On Sunday there will be a closing reception from 4 – 6 pm. All of Trask’s pieces will be 10% off.

Anna Brown writes about art and culture in New York City. Tell her your best finds at her Twitter handle @bushwickwild.

 Ground Floor Gallery, ian trask

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