Tony Feher, that died this year, was an American sculptor. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. His art is made of everyday objects mainly art with bottles.
He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, in 1978. He began exhibiting fine art in 1980.
Feher’s work involved the careful, deliberate use of everyday materials, which he just barely altered. Often these were things he found on city streets, like bottles, bags, paper, boxes, string, and, in the later years of his life, blue tape. In Feher’s hands, these low-cost things took on high-art aspirations. Arranged in rigid patterns, Feher’s work had a tongue-in-cheek quality, like Donald Judd’s stacked sculptures remade by the class clown.
Feher recalled what first drew him to making sculptures out of the everyday. He remembered seeing a bowl of red marbles in an East Village toy store in New York—the way the light hit them caught his eye. “So I bought a handful, went home, and layered them into a bunch of honey jars so they created these different-hued red tones,” he said. “I suddenly thought, ‘I get it now. I’m an artist, and this is sculpture. This is mine.’
Some of Feher’s work looked like trash, and, in an interview from 2013 with BOMB Magazine, he said that the artist Robert Gober once called his work “tenement art.” And yet, despite its dollar-store aesthetic, Feher’s work touched on deep, human themes. Feher began making work during 80’s, and his practice matured at the height of the AIDS crisis; the artist himself was HIV positive. Not unlike Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s more overtly intellectual work, Feher’s sculptures managed to capture the way that his materials, much like human life, couldn’t last forever. his sculptures, too, would likely be destroyed one day.
See also Fish sculptures made from bottles HERE!