Portfolio > American Beauty

The series American Beauty is muscular and melancholic. Screws, ladders, anchors, skids, and crates are in repose. The physical or functional is at rest but not obsolete.

Fabrication techniques for these pieces are typical of late nineteenth and early twentieth century manufacturing. The materials: wood, coal, iron, leather and felt are typical of the materials that helped fuel Chicago’s metamorphosis from boom town to metropolis. The surface treatments create the illusion of use, wear and the passage of time.

Three books were of considerable influence in the conception and development of the series. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon, One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybczynsk, and most importantly Toolbox, a collection of poems by Fabio Morabito.