With its thousands of deserted, moldering buildings and blocks upon blocks of empty, broken streets, Detroit is the mother of all scrap yards. And ever since the late 1960s, when abandonment of the city by businesses and the populace began to explode exponentially, its trove of cast-offs has been mined by legions of scavengers, including at least two generations of visual artists. True bricoleurs, these cultural producers have worked by bringing the refuse of life into the refuge of art, imbuing the otherwise forgotten with renewed significance and thus value. Thirty-six year old Clinton Snider is one of the latest to emerge.
This work builds a new representational order literally upon the debris Snider has collected and adds narrative content to its visual form. In these pieces, which are basically paintings executed on junk substrates, the material aspect of art work is always evident. Painted on top of retrieved strips of lumber, the conventional "window" view is interrupted by the different lengths of board that have been hammered together,
Subverting the rectangular plane of traditional easel painting. Melancholy seems to be the pervasive mood here, but not entirely, on one level the painting is about the decline of modern civilization in Detroit, but on another arguably more important level, it is about the persistence of life even in the city's most desolate provinces.