Caps From Liquor Bottles Turned Into Monumental Wallworks


Stitching together cut and flattened bottle tops from whisky, rum, and gin bottles, El Anatsui constructs massive, marvelous sculptures, which get draped on museum and gallery walls. The youngest of 32 children, the West African artist had already developed an international reputation working in wood with a chainsaw before stumbling upon a garbage bag filled with aluminum screw-tops, which he reshaped and sewed together with copper wire, alongside a Nigerian country road. Referencing traditional Ghanaian fabrics, Anatsui, and his team of nearly a dozen workers, assembles bits of glistening metal — tagged with brand names, such as Flying Horse, Liquor Headmaster, and Dark Sailor — into mesmerizing works of art that echo slavery’s control of men through drink and the globalization sweeping the world. View a slideshow of the artist’s recent work, which is on view at New York’s Jack Shainman Gallery through March 13.

Click here to view a slideshow of his work>>