Roxy Paine is an artist that lives and works in New York, and gets inspired by Nature to create massive tree sculptures.
Since 1990, Paine began showing his work in Brooklyn where he co-founded the artist collective Brand Name Damages. He established an early interest in the collision of conflicting impulses of information such as industry and nature, control and chaos, form and theory. During this time, Paine exhibited in several iconic group shows.
Over the years, Paine’s work has evolved into a trajectory of several overlapping wavelengths: machines, fields, fungus and weeds, specimen cases, dendroids and, most recently, dioramas.
The vocabulary of fungi, plants and industrial machines became vehicles for the artist’s reflections on mechanized production and the human impulse to impose order and control over creative and natural forces. For example, in Drug Ziggurat (1993), Paine demonstrates an industrious approach to addressing systems and categories: mind-altering substances stack in a hierarchical order of potency, from a base of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages to a spire of hypodermic needles and opiates.
The collapse of industry upon nature is further seen in Paine’s stainless steel dendroids. The dendroids, defined as anything branching or dendritic in structure, began as an early tree-like form in Bluff, exhibited in Central Park’s Whitney Biennial 2002, and evolved into the groundbreaking, neural and synaptic systems of Maelstrom exhibited on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 2009. Paine’s interest in stainless steel derives from its institutional use in pharmaceutical, food, gas and oil pipeline industries. The dendroids began as a study of growth patterns in nature and developed into Paine’s recent interest in structures of the human brain and nervous system.