advertisement
advertisement
  • 04.14.11

Dumpster Diving Artist Creates Trippy 3-D Drawings From Wood Scraps [Slideshow]

Ron van der Ende turns old doors and cabinets into stunningly realistic sculptures — and doesn’t need a single layer of paint to do it.

Ron van der Ende must have the patience of a Torah scribe. His artwork, shown above, might vaguely resemble a photograph or at least a damn good paint by numbers, but it’s actually made entirely out of reclaimed wood veneers — each an astonishingly scant 3 millimeters thick.

advertisement

All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job.

It gets crazier. All those colors? They’re the wood’s original paint job; Van der Ende, who hails from the Netherlands, doesn’t use a lick of extra pigment. Instead, he hoards wood the way a painter collects paint tubes, stalking the dumpsters of Rotterdam for doors, cupboards, planks — whatever he can find. That way, he’s always got plenty of colors on hand. (On the rare occasion he can’t find the right color, he visits a warehouse near Rotterdam that stores more than 7,000 old doors. “An afternoon in there with a good flashlight will usually get me exactly what I need,” he tells Co. in an email.)

How he works: “I start by taking the [wood] object apart and removing screws, nails, and hinges. After that I use a saw-bench to cut the wood into veneers around 3mm thick. Any rest of the material is used in the construction of the bas-relief shape. When it is done I apply the veneers with nails and glue to the bas-relief as a mosaic creating or enhancing the illusion of shadows, reflections, and perspective.”

Van der Ende will spend six to eight weeks of his life pasting together a single sculpture. Geez. Almost makes the Parthenon Frieze look like finger painting.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

More

Video