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Artful Detritus: Tom Fruin

A photo of a house made of small sections of stained glassKolonihavehus, steel, found plexiglass, paint

Tom Fruin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, where he creates artwork that utilizes found objects and street detritus in bright, attention grabbing installations and sculptures. Some of the material that Fruin uses could easily be seen as garbage to the layman – his Treasure Map, R.V. Ingersoll work is effectively a quilt, sewn of plastic Ziploc bags that once contained illicit drugs.  Another, similar work titled Discard, uses found playing cards mounted together on a wall.


A detail photograph of a quilt made of discarded drug bagsTreasure Map: R.V. Ingersoll (Detail), found drug bags, thread


These works are interesting in their accessibility. Fruin doesn’t do a great deal to cover up the existence of his materials – while he puts them together and rearranges them, they remain fundamentally the objects that they would be if you found them on the sidewalk. There is something romantic in this deliberate repurposing of spent, discarded waste – and his insistence of being transparent about what he is using.


A series of playing cards mounted in a grid on the wallDiscard, 225 found playing cards, aluminum mounts

Fruin is currently represented by galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Vienna, and Geneva.

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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